Stingray is a sea-creature with whip-like tail which is venomous and dangerous. This tail has sharp spine, which can cause injury. Stingrays are easily the most common groups of fish that attack human being. They shed and replace their tail spine. Stingray sting can be extremely painful. The Southern Stingrays are very famous. They can be found in sandy areas. For finding prey, they use their senses including smell, touch and electro senses. Therefore, they are capable of leading a benthic zone life-style. Southern stingrays are very important when it comes to ecotourism. It’s really important to preserve their habitat for the survival of their species.
Now let’s see some of the interesting facts about this amazing creature!
Fact 1: Stingrays are cousins of Sharks – Yes, you heard it right. They belong to the family of sharks. They don’t eat humans, but can be as troublesome as sharks!
Fact 2: Their caudal spine can be clipped without injuring them – Their caudal spine can be compared to human fingernails. It can be clipped without injuring the stingray. Many aquariums do that to avoid unwanted injuries. Like fingernails, it grows back in time.
Fact 3: They give birth unlike fish – This is what sets them apart from fish. Stingrays don’t lay eggs like fish.
Fact 4: They attack only to defend themselves – There is a common misconception that stingrays consider humans as enemies. This is totally false as they attack only as a means to self-defence. They are not interested in humans as long as they don’t feel threatened by humans!
Fact 5: They can survive without eating for very long – They conserve energy by staying idle on the sea floor. Also, they take more time to digest their food. The elongated intestine gives them extra time to absorb nutrients. Their stomachs have something called rugae, which allows them to increase the surface area. All these factors help them to avoid eating for long. It helps them to stay undetected from predators for very long.
Fact 6: There is a city called Stingray City – Yes, you heard it right. This is a special place for stingrays as you will be able to swim with them. They won’t attack you. They just come for food given by the tourists. This city is located in Grand Cayman. It’s a pretty sight to see them up and close. You don’t need to be afraid as they are gentle to the tourists! Give the snacks and they will leave!
Fact 7: Ancient Greeks used Sting as an anaesthetic – Yes, you heard it right. They used the sting as an anaesthetic for dentistry work.
Fact 8: Stingray spine was considered to be a lucky charm – In ancient Greek, Stingray spine was considered to be a lucky charm! They believed that pregnant women will have an easy labour with the help of barb removed from live stingray. They believed that if you put the barb on pregnant woman’s navel, she will have an easy labour.
Fact 9: Stingray provides cleaning stations for other fishes – There are many coral, fishes and other organisms that live in perfect harmony with stingrays. Spanish Hogfish and Bluehead Wrasse have cleaning stations on stingray’s body. Both benefit by this arrangement. The fishes will get food and stingray will walk away with a clean body.
Fact 10: Stingrays are prey to larger sharks – Though they belong to the same family, certain shark families won’t spare stingrays. Hammerhead Sharks are their number one enemies in the water world. Stingrays can hardly escape from Hammerhead Sharks as these sharks have powerful electro senses which can track down stingrays. Also, these sharks are immune to stingray venom.