Saturday, October 22, 2011

Stingray Under Water Marine Park

The smooth ray is the largest stingray in the world. When fully grown they can reach over 4m in length and weight over 350kg! Discover Stingray Bay, a relaxing coastal lagoon, in AQWA’s Marmion Marine Park. Stingrays have a barbed, venomous spine located on their tail. Stingrays don’t actually ‘sting’ to catch their food, but if provoked will use their barb out of defence. A close relative of the shark, stingrays have skeletons composed of cartilage. They are distinguished from sharks by a flattened body, which varies in shape from almost circular to diamond-shaped.

Stingrays have flat grinding teeth which they use to crush food, such as crabs. A stingray’s mouth is underneath its body, helping it to catch food on the sea floor. To propel themselves through the water stingrays, such as eagle rays ‘flap’ their side fins alike a bird. Other stingrays, such as the smooth ray, move their side fins in a wave like motion and can swim backwards! You can find stingrays in warm temperate and tropical ocean waters throughout the world. They spend most of their time near the sea floor and will hide buried underneath the sand. In Perth, you are most likely to see stingrays in shallow coastal areas.


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