Facts about stingrays

We found 23 facts about stingrays

Pancakes of the sea

One of the most distinguished known fish, stingrays are common in tropical and subtropical waters. There are over 200 species of stingrays, all equally intriguing.

Stingrays are related to sharks.
Both sharks and stingrays belong to the Elasmobranchii subclass of Chondrichthyes.
There are around 220 species of stingrays, which are organized in 29 genera.
They date back 150 million years to the Jurassic period.
Stingrays mostly occupy tropical and subtropical waters.
Depending on the species, they can also be found in temperate oceans, and even in the deep ocean.
They display sexual dimorphism.
Females are not only larger than males and live longer, but they also reach sexual maturity faster.
The average lifespan of a stingray depends on gender.
Males live up to 7 years, females for an average of 15 to 22 years.
They are carnivorous.
Their diet consists of small animals found on or under the sand. The typical meal comprises ray-finned fish, crustaceans, snails, shrimps, and worms.
Stingrays use electromagnetic senses to hunt for food.
Not only their eyesight is poor, but their eyes are located on top of their body. Thus, they use ampullae of Lorenzini—electroreceptors located around their mouths—to sense the location of their prey.
They have several natural predators, including seals, sea lions, some large fish, and sharks.
Stingrays are among the most preferred food of hammerhead sharks.
Stingrays are ovoviviparous.
Young are hatched from eggs stored within the female’s body.
Female stingrays birth up to 6 pups a year.
Their pups are born fully independent.
They are capable of foraging their own food, hence, they do not require parental care.
Stingrays use two types of respiratory systems.
Primarily, they use gills to filtrate oxygen from water taken in by their mouths, however, while hunting, stingrays are buried in sand, and thus cannot use their mouths. Instead, they use spiracles—little openings—located behind their eyes.
Stingrays are boneless.
Their skeleton is made up of cartilage.
To swim, stingrays use paired pectoral fins.
Their moves look like an underwater flight.
They sleep buried in the sand.
They leave their tail unburied to be able to protect themselves.
Stingrays are solitary creatures.
They form groups for migrating and mating purposes.
Stingrays are equipped with dangerous blades containing venom.
They cause puncturing wounds that mostly lead to severe pain, local necrosis, and delayed wound healing, accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and muscle cramps.
Ancient Greeks used stingray venom as an anesthetic for dental procedures.
They show no hostility towards humans and attack only when provoked.
Most attacks are caused by humans accidentally stepping on them and are not lethal. There have been around 17 confirmed human deaths as a result of contact with stingrays. One of the most memorable was of Steve Irwin in 2006. An Australian wildlife expert was pierced in the chest by a short-tail stingray while filming a documentary.
The short-tailed stingray is the largest of the species.
It reaches an average of 2 meters and weighs up to 360 kilograms.
They are edible, and commonly consumed in various countries like Iceland, Malaysia, and Singapore.
While Malaysians and Singaporeans prefer their stingray barbecued, Icelanders eat it fermented.
Their numbers systematically decline.
Most species are listed as threatened or vulnerable to extinction, which is primarily caused by unregulated fishing and habitat loss.
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