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Possible new species of manta ray spotted off Palm Beach

Posted at 1:33 PM, Apr 17, 2018

Video recorded using a drone off Palm Beach this week shows a possible news species of manta ray.

"You never know what's out there," said beachgoer Missy Garrett.

"Don't think I've ever seen a manta ray," said Rebecca Kavanaugh from New York.

Photographer and conservationist Ivy Yin said she recorded the video Monday morning. 

"Not able to harm you," said Jessica Pate with the Florida Manta Project.

She says this is possibly a third new species her team has been studying for several years now.

There's the Oceanic manta ray, the reef manta ray, and this new species she says.

"Difference in morphology and their coloration and their teeth," said Pate.

She says this new species may be calling the western Atlantic home.

"Have been juveniles or not mature which means this could be a nursery habitat," said Pate.

Missy Garrett hopes the habitat is preserved.

"It is beauty and we need to respect it," said Garrett.