Cuteness Counts

Perhaps it's the influence from having spent so much time in Japan, but I'm a fan of all things cute, especially underwater.

This baby eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari) cruising the reef at Blue Corner in Palau is an example:

Baby eagle ray, Blue Corner, Palau
How can you not feel warm and fuzzy when you look at this adorable baby eagle ray?

It was a tiny little tyke, maybe a metre or so across the wings. There was no one else around at the time, so I had the pleasure of spending 20-30 minutes taking in the sights at Blue Corner together with my cartilaginous companion before anyone else showed up.

Now, I know the little ray isn't smiling...but c' sure does look like my winged friend has a perma-grin plastered on its face.

A bit of trivia: the Palauan word for eagle ray and the Audobon shearwater bird are the same, and both eagle rays and shearwaters are considered gods in Palauan culture. (I wish I could remember the actual word. Can anyone help me with my Palauan vocabulary?)