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Stingray City - About Stingrays

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Stingray City - About Stingrays


Stingray City - About StingraysSummary: Learn more about stingrays ... For centuries, these mysterious animals in the sea have been unnecessarily feared by man. This misconception of rays being dangerous fish was caused by a lack of understanding of their anatomy.
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    Stingray City - About Stingrays

    For centuries, these mysterious animals in the sea have been unnecessarily feared by man. This misconception of rays being dangerous fish was caused by a lack of understanding of their anatomy. This species has long, whip-like tails which contain one or two razor-sharp, serrated barbs located at the base. The barb contains venom used to deter predators. It causes pain and swelling upon contact but rays are not aggressive creatures and do not attack man or any other creatures. Their tails are used purely as defense and usually ineffective against their main predators, sharks.

    Therefore, stingrays really only cause trouble to humans in shallow water areas, and only if they are stepped on by mistake while lying unseen, feeding in the sand. Divers and snorkelers at Stingray City do not encounter this because the rays are in perpetual motion in the water, circling visitors in search of a handout of squid or fish.

    Stingray CityThe rays found at Stingray City and Sandbar have white underbellies and slate gray, brown, 'khaki' or rarely, black upper surfaces. Males of this species are smaller and more numerous at the site. Adult Females grow as large as six feet across. Relatives of the shark, with soft, cartilaginous skeletons, they also give birth to live young, with three to five, nine-inch long 'pups' born at the same time.


    Stingrays have broad, flat almost disk-shaped bodies with small, ill- defined heads with their eyes and blunt snout on the topside and large pectoral fins, mistakenly called 'wings.' This misnomer is suggested by the ray's method of swimming, a movement resembling a bird in flight.

    Although they appear to be 'sleeping,: they are actually busy feeding on their normal diet of crabs, conch, shrimp, worms and even small fish. These 'snoozing' creatures also seem to be stirring up the sand in small clouds, as they expel sediment through vents located behind their eyes. Since rays' eyes are located on the top of their bodies and their mouths hidden are on their flat underside, they cannot see what they are feeding on. They instead sense it through highly developed electro-receptors combined with an acute sense of smell and touch. In their natural state, they slowly patrol the ocean floor until they sense prey, and then cover it with their body. Rays then create a shallow depression in the sand to cover themselves, often leaving only their eyes and long tail exposed.


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