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Monday, June 13, 2016

Stingray

Photo Credit: Liné1
Varying in shape from almost rectangular to circular, with spotted or mottled markings, stingrays are found in all of the world's tropical and temperate seas.

There are more than 100 species of stingray, ranging in size from 1 to 15 feet across and weighing between 1 and 750 pounds. All are able to inflict a severe wound with their long tails and poisonous, sword-like spines.

Stingrays prefer to live in shallow water and like to spend their time buried in soft sand or mud. They are strong, active swimmers, moving rapidly through the water with their large, wing-like finds.

Some scientist believe that, with the onset of winter, stingrays make long migrations to warmer waters. Others believe, however, that the fish dig themselves into the soft seabed and spend the winter in hibernation. Nevertheless, stingrays are usually found in colder waters only during the summer months.

Stingrays feed mainly on worms, mollusks, and crustaceans that they dig out of the seabed. Larger stingrays may also eat dead fish and squid.

Did you know?
  • Stingray spines have been used to make spear tips, daggers, needles, and awls. 
  • When stingrays are caught in commercial fishing nets, the fishermen often cut off their spines before throwing them back in the sea. 
  • In Mexican waters, hundreds of stingrays gather into seabed depressions known as ray pits.

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