Facts About Stingrays

Stingrays are a group of sea rays, which are cartilaginous fish related to sharks. They are noted for the long, sharp spines on their tails which they use to sting. Many species are endangered. Here are some interesting facts about these cool animals.

  • Like sharks, stingrays do not have bones, their skeletons are instead made up entirely of cartilage.
  • There are about 70 species of stingrays in existence.
  • Most stingrays live in tropical and subtropical coastal ocean waters.
  • There are a few species that live in freshwater rivers.
  • Most types of stingrays have one or more barbed venomous stingers on their tail which are only used in self-defense.
  • Their flat bodies enable them to dig in and hide from predators on the ocean floor.
  • The main predators of stingrays are sharks, other large fish, seals, and sea lions.
  • Stingrays eyes are on top of their bodies, however, their mouth, gills, and nostrils are on the bottom.
  • Thus, stingrays aren’t able to see their prey, instead, they use smell and electroreceptors to find food.
  • Stingrays mainly feed on mollusks, crustaceans such as crabs, clams, oysters, sea snails, and small fish.
  • To swim, some stingray species flap their fins like a bird and glide through the water, others move their entire bodies in a wavy motion propelling them forward.
  • Shuffling your feet while walking on a sandy shallow seafloor is the best way to avoid stepping on a stingray and possibly getting stung.
  • In the wild, a stingray can live on average to be 15 to 25 years old.
  • Some stingray observed in the deep can grow as long as 14 feet.
  • Stingrays are eaten in many cuisines around the world.
  • The ray’s leathery skin is often used to make exotic shoes, boots, belts, wallets, jackets, and cellphone cases.
  • Stingrays generally live by themselves and come together when they are ready to mate.
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