The stingray is a flat fish that lives in the seas around the world and they prefer the temperate, shallow waters. They aren’t an active fish, spending their time mostly hiding in the sand. With their flat bodies, they don’t resemble a fish, which they certainly are, and their bodies are supported by cartilage rather than bones.
Cownose ray during feeding time at Virginia Aquarium. Cownose rays eat mollusks like oysters, razor clams, macorma, softshell clams. © Robert Fisher/VASG.
They are basically nocturnal animals and this is why our knowledge of their feeding habits is quite limited. In captivity, they usually eat more things than in their normal habitat due to the fact that they can eat whatever they are fed. These fish are best known for their stinger on the end of their tail and the sting can be 25cm long, which they use for stopping their prey from escaping. When feeding, them sometimes leave their eyes and tail visible, before stirring up the sands and disappearing again.
Stingrays are carnivores
A giant stingray eats a spider crab. © Pink Tank Scuba (watch the video on YouTube).
They are carnivorous animals, more precisely predators, feeding on smaller fish and other sea creature that they catch at the bottom of the sea. Their diet consists of mollusks, clams, shrimps, snails and other species of fish. They don’t have a hard time catching their victim and due to their sandy color, they can hardly be detected. They can trap their prey with scarcely a problem, as they just wait for it to swim by. They don’t have strong eyesight and they must rely on their sense of smell when detecting their prey. Being closely related to sharks, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to know what a meal looks like for stingrays. Once the prey is close, they will instantly attack it and crush it with their mouth. Unlike sharks, stingrays don’t attack people; the only exception is when they are acting in self defense.
You can eat a stingray
Stingrays are edible and they are consumed by a wide variety of cultures. It can be a very good source of protein for people. These fish aren’t common meals, which are easier to cook if they are breaded then baked.
Their stings are very dangerous
Stingrays don’t have many enemies, perhaps this is due to their size, shape and being able to hide in the sand from eventual predators. They aren’t considered aggressive predators, certainly don’t mean a threat to people, at least not when they are left alone. These predators aren’t to be messed with as they can’t be easily handled by a person. The stinger on their tails, which is highly toxic, can easily penetrate the human body and this may lead to serious injuries. They can be a serious danger for people because they are very difficult to notice underwater, and since they like shallow water, one can easily step on them.
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