The various species of stingrays are one of the easier marine creatures to recognize. The main characteristic is their flat-shaped bodies and long tail.
You find most stingray species living near the sea floor in tropical and subtropical oceans. They exist and thrive best in warm shallow water.
Stingrays are in fact related to the shark species. Their skeleton is cartilage (not bone). In fact, sharks also have a similar cartilaginous skeleton.
Some of the genus have a serrated tail that contains a venomous spine. This is one reason why snorkelers and scuba divers should be careful where they stand (e.g. while wading in shallow water).
The eyes of stingray species sit on top of their head. But, they use electro-sensors to detect their prey. Stingrays feed most on shrimps, mussels, and clams. They crush the food using powerful jaws on the underside of their body.
Interesting Fun Facts about Stingrays
- The largest stingrays weigh around 350 kilos and measure more than two metres long.
- Facts on stingrays suggest that they live an average lifespan of twenty (20) years. Even so, extinction is a real concern for some species.
- The venom from a stingray’s tail can kill humans.
- There are around sixty (60) different stingray species (Dasyatidae).
- Despite being mostly solitary, the name for a group of stingrays is a ‘school’.
- A female stingray will produce around four (4) young each year.
- Baby stingray facts – young are fully developed when they are born and self-reliant from birth.
The pictures show the bluespotted stingray on the sand and kuhl’s Stingray.
Note: Check out the fish species section. It has more information on other marine life found around tropical coral islands.