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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Stingray Facts You’ll Never Forget

Read these baby stingray facts to know more about this exotic aquatic animal.

Stingrays (family Hexatrygonidae) are known to glide gracefully through the water. There are about 200 species of stingray in the oceans around the world. They are also found in freshwater lakes and rivers. Stingrays are related to sharks and categorized as sea rays too. The body of the stingray is made of cartilage. They can also camouflage during times of danger. A stingray tail is venomous, and upon sensing danger, they can barb their predators with it. They are known for their unique body design, which is flat and wide with a tail. Stingrays have broad fins that run full length off their bodies. Stingrays move their whole body in a wavy motion to propel themselves forward in the water. And some flap their fins like bird wings to fly through the water. When not busy feeding, they bury themselves under the sand.

Stingrays (family Hexatrygonidae) are known to swim near the shore in shallow waters. They have a special sensor called the ampullae of lorenzini, which can detect tiny electrical charges emitted by their prey. They have strong jaws, and they crush their prey using them. There are eight families of stingrays that are known as sixgill stingray, deep-water stingray, round rays, whiptail stingrays, butterfly rays, river stingrays, stingarees, and eagle rays. There are over 220 subspecies of stingray, including giant freshwater stingray, southern stingray, Atlantic stingray, blue spotted stingray, and more. Some species are also found in warmer temperate oceans and in deep oceans too. Manta rays are considered to be the largest stingray in the world, which extends to over 314 in (8 m) in width.

After this, you may also take a look at rockfish facts and catfish facts.

Stingray Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a stingray?

Stingrays are a type of cartilaginous fish found in the coastal tropical and subtropical marine waters. The freshwater stingray can be found on the ocean floors or swimming in the open ocean.

What class of animal does a stingray belong to?

The class of animals that a stingray belongs to is called Chondrichthyes. They are related to sharks and have no bones.

How many stingrays are there in the world?

The exact number of stingrays is difficult to discern. The population of all the species of stingray is declining to a great extent due to bycatch and habitat loss. Some species are already declared Vulnerable or Endangered.

Where does a stingray live?

Stingrays are found in the coastal regions of tropical and subtropical marine water around the world. Some species are also found in deep oceans and temperate water zones too. There are some species that are found in the Black sea, Mediterranean sea, and freshwater lakes and rivers too.

What is a stingray's habitat?

The stingray’s habitat is close to the shoreline in the shallow water of the ocean. They prefer to stay in the muddy and sandy region of the ocean floor. The Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas has become a major tourist attraction due to the heavy concentration of stingrays in the region.

Who do stingrays live with?

Stingrays are said to be solitary creatures. They are only found in groups or pairs during the mating season.

How long does a stingray live?

Stingrays live for 15 to 25 years in the wild. They may be caught in bycatch or for food in certain regions.

How do they reproduce?

Stingrays are known to give birth using internal fertilization methods in which the male stingray impregnates the female. The courting is done by males by biting the female’s pectoral discs. Some stingrays have a six-month plus mating period before the female becomes pregnant. The unborn babies are nourished inside the egg yolk inside the body of the females. The female stingrays will give birth to between five to 15 young stingrays at a time. After that, the babies disassociate from their mothers immediately as they are born with the instinctual ability to protect and feed themselves. Some species of the stingray rely on their ampullae of lorenzini sense to catch an electrical relay given out by female stingrays for mating. The males are known to pursue the female aggressively during the mating period.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status for some species of the stingray is specified as Endangered. The status of other species can't be determined due to insufficient data. The encroachment of their habitats is one of the major reasons for the decline in the population of various species of stingrays.

Stingray Fun Facts

What do stingrays look like?

Stingrays look like a floating sheet of paper to some in the ocean, due to its thin flat body with a tail. They have strong jaws, which allows their upper jaws to move quickly and extend forward. Some species of the stingray look like they are flying through the water. The stingray's mouth is located underneath its body, which helps them feed on ocean bottom dwellers like crabs.

A giant stingray moves in a wave like motion.

How cute are they?

They are different-looking creatures with fins that make them look round. Their broad fins cover the full length of their body. Most stingrays are grey or dark brown with a pale belly. Some have brown dots, yellow dots, blue dots, and other colors.

How do they communicate?

They have sensors located around their mouths that help them sense their prey. They also work in place of their eyes.

How big is a stingray?

The largest stingray can grow up to 75 in (6.5 ft) long.  The various species of stingrays come in varying sizes.

How fast can a stingray swim?

Stingrays are known to have a fast swimming speed. The manta can move an entire body length every second. The 180 in (15 ft) manta can move at a speed of 9 mph (14 kmph) and is capable of reaching the speed of 22 mph (35 kmph) in short bursts. The stingray moves through the ocean water by undulating the body in a wave like motion.

How much does a stingray weigh?

Stingrays may weigh differently per their size and wingspan. There are 220 stingray species of varying size and shapes that weigh accordingly. The stingray's approximate weight range is 55-210 lb (24-95 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female stingrays don't have specific names. They are therefore known as males and females respectively.

What would you call a baby stingray?

A baby stingray is known as a young or a pup.

What do they eat?

Stingrays are predators and are known to use a wide range of feeding strategies. Rays catch their prey and crush them. Stingrays eat mollusks, crustaceans, and small fish. Freshwater stingrays eat insects. Some stingrays, like manta rays, consume vast amounts of plankton. Stingrays use sensors to locate their next meal. When stingrays are not busy feeding, they tend to bury themselves in the sand with only their eyes and spiracles visible, this is also how they sleep.

Are they venomous?

Yes, stingrays are venomous. Stingray venom is stored within the tissue cell. Stingray venom is secreted through the three blades attached to their spinal tail onto the body of the attacker.

Would they make a good pet?

Stingrays are not known to survive in captivity for more than five years. A lot of their behavior pattern is yet to be explored and that can happen in the open seas at best. Instead of capturing them, efforts should be made to study and protect their natural habitats.

Did you know...

Stingrays have no bones in their body. Stingray skeleton is made up of cartilage instead of bones.

Rays are also nicknamed flat sharks due to their relationship with sharks. Stingrays can camouflage themselves by changing their colors or hiding on the ocean floor to save themselves or to catch prey.

A stingrays eyes can be located on top of its body but rays use their sensors to locate their prey.

When you compare stingray vs manta ray in terms of appearance, you will be able to see various differentiation points. Stingrays have long, thin tails with a small stinger at the end of the tail. Then, the mouth of a stingray is present at the bottom of the body while that of a manta ray is present at the front edge.  

How stingrays sting and what to do if you get stung by a stingray

Stingrays may turn agitated if you step on them accidentally. In repose, a stingray attack may take place and the sea animal may sting you by thrusting the tail in your foot or leg. Venom may cause the wound to be infected. The sting by the stingray may cause intense pain, nausea, weakness, and fainting. In rare cases, it may cause a person who is attacked breathlessness and they may even die. It is advisable to visit a doctor immediately.

Do stingrays have teeth?

Stingrays have a strong jaw, with a unique suspension that allows the upper jaw to have high mobility and can protrude outward. In place of teeth, rays have placoid scales that are regularly shed and replaced. They have roots implanted in the connective tissue, and a portion of teeth visible is large and flat. This lets them crush the body of hard-shelled prey.

How to draw a stingray

Draw a curvy S on blank paper. From the left endpoint of curvy S, draw a straight line that is slightly curved at the start. Now draw the eyes and draw a curved line inside the Scurvy line you drew. From the far end of the straight line, draw a line like a letter J. Now make U-shaped fins on both sides of the body.

How to cook a stingray

Stingray fish can be grilled over charcoal and served with spicy sambal sauce. In Goa and other states, the meat of the stingray is used to make curries. The most used parts of this fish are the wings, the area around the eyes, and the liver.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including tang fish, or wrasse.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our stingray coloring pages.

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