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Fun Ray Facts For Kids

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Rays are a large group of cartilaginous fish, with 600 species from 24 families. They are known for their flattened body, long wing-like fins, and close relation to sharks. For example, in rays and sharks both of their structures are made out of cartilage, and they don't have any bones. Rays have whiplike, long tails. A stingray's tail is called a caudal. Rays have been found to have originated long ago, dating back to the Ordovician era. They live in ocean waters, and a few live in freshwater as well. They mainly prey on clams, oysters, crustaceans, snails, shrimp, and small fish. The most common species are electric rays, which are also called torpedo fish, stingrays, and manta rays, which are also called the great devil fish.

To learn more, we have collected a set of interesting facts about manta rays for you to read. You can also learn more interesting facts by reading more articles on moray eels and sea snakes.

Fun Ray Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Clams, oysters, shrimps, and small fish

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

17.6-3527 lb (8-1600 kg)

How long are they?

1.9-7 m (6.5-23 ft)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Brown, blue, gray, black, and white

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Excessive Commercial Fishing

What is their conservation status?

Near Threatened, Endangered

Where you'll find them?

Marine And Freshwaters


All Over The World




Aetomylaeus, Mobula




Myliobatidae, Mobulidae

Ray Interesting Facts

What type of animal are Rays?

Rays are a group of cartilaginous fishes, and they are closely related to sharks.

What class of animal do Rays belong to?

Rays belong to the Chondrichthyes class of the Animalia kingdom.

How many Rays are there in the world?

There are more than 600 species in 24 families of rays in the oceans of our world. Therefore, their total population is inestimable.

Where do Rays live?

Rays live in the ocean. They can be found at 9800 ft (3000 m) deep water. However, there are species like the ocellate river stingray that live in the freshwater. On the other hand, manta rays live in the open sea, and there are species like estuary stingray who live in the estuaries of eastern Australia.

What is a Ray's habitat?

Ray's habitats include coastal water, deep water, freshwater, estuaries, and brackish bays. As there are over 600 species of rays, the habitat specifications are different and vast. For example, stingrays dwell in subtropical and tropical waters. But the water temperature and depth vary in different species of stingrays. Species like Dasyatis thetidis prefer warmer water, Plesiobatis daviesi are deep ocean stingrays. On the other hand, river stingrays can't live in salt water as they require fresh water to live.

Who do Rays live with?

Rays can live both solitary lives and in groups, depending on the species. For example, stingrays live a solitary life, and on the other hand, manta rays live in large groups, consisting of 100-1500 members.

How long do Rays live?

An average ray can live up to 30 years in the wild. Manta rays can live up to 50 years as well. Freshwater rays live up to 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

Rays apply the internal fertilization method, as it can conserve sperms and protects the egg from predators. With such a diverse group, there will inevitably be variations in reproduction methods of rays.

Some ray species can lay eggs (oviparous), and some species can develop the young in the womb (ovoviviparous) without a placenta involved. Are you aware of the term 'mermaids' purse'? Well, it means an egg case consisting of one-eight embryos, which wrap around the eggs of rays and sharks. Oviparous rays lay their eggs on mermaids' purses. Stingrays can give birth to up to 15 pups.

What is their conservation status?

A study published by 'Nature' stated that rays lost 71% of their population in the last 50 years due to overfishing and the effects of pollution on the marine environment. Stingrays are marked as Near Threatened species by the International Union For Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Ray Fun Facts

What do Rays look like?

Ray fish are related to sharks.

The body of a ray fish is entirely made out of cartilage, which means they don't have any bones in their body. Rays have a flat body with broad fins. The flaps of their fins are so smooth and fluid that it appears they are flying underwater! Rays have brown, blue, gray, black, and white-colored scales with a pale stomach. The giant oceanic manta ray has white and black markings. They use their tail in both an offensive and defensive manner. They are closely related to the sharks. They both have short and flattened teeth.

How cute are they?

Their fluid movements and body structure are attractive indeed. The fun fact is that when you see a ray fish swimming vertically, their facial split and tiny eyes can look very cute indeed.

How do they communicate?

Like other fish, rays too communicate via body movements like tilting or lifting their tail and frilling their wing-like fins. They can also make sounds like grunting and clapping. However, people who have listened to it are extremely rare! A few species of ray can also emit mild electrical waves and vibrations.

How big are Rays?

On average, rays are 6.5 to 23 ft in length. The largest-ever freshwater Ray fish caught was 14 ft in length. The giant manta ray is the largest one of their family; they can grow as long as 29 ft. The tiniest one of the group is the short-nose electric ray, which is just about 14 in in length.

How fast can Rays swim?

On average, rays can swim at speeds up to 9 mph (14.5 kph). Manta rays can achieve a speed of up to 22 mph (35.4 kph). The Chilean devil ray is known to be the fastest swimmer of their entire group.

How much do Rays weigh?

A typical ray fish weigh around 17.6-3527 lb (8-1600 kg). The heaviest one of the family, the giant manta ray, can weigh up to 5300 lb (2404 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no particular name given to the male and female ray fishes.

What would you call a baby Ray?

Baby rays are known as 'pups'.

What do they eat?

Stingrays prey on bottom dwellers of the ocean; clams, oysters, crustaceans, snails, shrimps, and small fishes. Species like electric rays primarily feed on polychaete annelids. Electric rays also consume anemones, crustaceans, and snake eels. Planktons are the primary food of the manta ray.

Are they dangerous?

Most rays are not dangerous or harmful in general and are known for being polite. They only sting when they are being stepped on or threatened. However, we can't forget the unfortunate death of wildlife expert Steve Irwin.

Would they make a good pet?

They can be good pets. However, we must remind you that these marine animals are very high maintenance and not suitable for everyone. They require a large aquarium, ideal water temperature and quality, and a special diet.

Did you know...

Sharks and rays both don't have swim bladders.

Stingray venom is a key ingredient for making anesthetic drugs.

Stingrays are the most popular among all other species of sea rays.

You can spot a manta ray on the Tampa Bay Rays' jersey logo.

Stingrays have venom in their spines. Their spines are at the back of their tail.

They are born with natural armor made out of their teeth like scales.

The unique organ Ampullae of Lorenzini is a gill-filled sensory organ that helps a stingray to receive electrical signals from others.

Most electric rays are nocturnal. They hide under the sand and often come out after dark in search of food.

Different types of Rays

There are 600 species of Ray fish in our world, living under the ocean and some in the freshwater. The most popular ones are stingray, manta ray, and electric ray.

Unique features of Rays

Similar to sharks, they have dental plates with small and flattened teeth.

They sleep on the bottom of the water, submerged in the sand or soil, with just their eyes visible. They sting by flipping up their back end when someone accidentally steps on them.

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 the nurse shark and the flounder.

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

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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