Not many people would expect a short video of two eagle ray pups swimming to be the cutest thing you will see all day.
Auckland aquarium, Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's, has released adorable footage of the pups, born on New Year's Eve.
The video shows the two seriously cute ray babies swimming up to the camera with what can only be described as big grins on their faces. The video goes on to show the pups, born to different mothers, frolicking together in the water, playing what looks like a chasing game. It is too cute for words.
Another wonderful discovery that came with these delightful pups is the newfound knowledge that the collective noun for rays is a "fever".
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The mothers live in the aquarium's popular "Fish Tunnel", but no male eagle rays live in the display. Is this a case of immaculate conception, times two?
Curator Andrew Christie explains there are two ways the female eagle rays, named Nibble and Spot, could have conceived the pups.
"While we were surprised to see Nibble and Spot give birth to pups, because they haven't been with a male in two years, it's not completely unheard of. It could have occurred through a process called parthenogenesis, which is a rare reproductive strategy where an embryo develops without fertilisation. Alternatively, Nibble and Spot could have stored sperm inside their bodies for the past two years. Sperm storage has been recorded in several shark and ray species, so we think this is the more likely scenario," says Christie.
Nibble and Spot also magically gave birth to their pups at exactly the same time on New Year's Eve.
Eagle rays are a type of cartilaginous fish with skeletons made of cartilage instead of bone. They have wide, flat snouts like a duck's bill, hence the cute grin captured in the video. They are found in New Zealand waters and are easy to identify thanks to their pointed wings and the flapping motion they make when they swim.
The pups, who have yet to be named, will remain behind the scenes for the foreseeable future as, despite being born with their barbs, they are vulnerable to larger fish while they are still so small.