Revised: Photographer captures manta giving birth

Wetpixel reported earlier that: “Martin Ureta of cameraman.com has captured a unique image of a giant manta (Manta birostris) in the act of giving birth.

It would now seem likely that this is not an image of a manta giving birth, but rather an image of one having a “gastro-intestinal eversion,” where the manta actually ejects the lower part of its intestine out of its cloaca in order to remove indigestible debris from its intestine. Comments posted onto the original Wetpixel post have caused this re-evaluation.

This has been documented and photographed before (pdf) although it is still a rarely witnessed event. It may also be that the image is actually of a reef manta (Manta alfredi) rather than a giant oceanic manta (Manta birostris) as was originally reported.