Manta rays are believed to be some of the most intelligent creatures in the ocean and have several traits and studies to support this claim.
The large fish belong to a order known as Myliobatiformes which includes stingrays and other similar species and is a group closely related to that of sharks and are characterised by their cartilaginous bodies.
Further classification of the majestic marine animals puts them in the family Myliobatidae (eagle rays).
There are two scales of how intelligence is roughly estimated in different species, brain mass and brain size relative to the animal's body.
Manta rays certainly measure up well on the former as they have the largest brain of any fish.
But many other animals of similar body size have smaller brains and survive just fine.
What distinguishes the manta ray, as well as animals like humans and elephants, is that the brain is very large when compared to the body.
This means the animal has invested heavily over the course of its evolution in its brain power, indicating a clear advantage to greater intelligence and concerted effort to improve its capacity.
Many researchers believe, and previous studies have indicated, that they are capable of recognition, of others and potentially even of themselves, and have almost mammalian intelligence - far more advanced than that of regular fish.
Self-recognition is an elite test of intelligence and mirror tests have only proved that great apes and bottlenose