Saturday, April 7, 2018

Stingrays Have Six Senses, Zero Bones

Stingrays are fluid swimmers with whip like tails.  They may not look like fish, but they are.  


Rays spend most of their time in shallow, temperate waters within a few yards of the shore. During the day, they bury themselves in the sand exposing only their eyes for seeing and their spiracle openings for breathing.  During the night they feed.


A stingray has no bones.  It's body is supported by cartilage similar to what humans have in our ears and noses. 

Although the ray's eyes and spiracle openings are on the top of the head, its mouth, gill slits, and nostrils are on the underside of the body.  Like its relative the shark, the stingray has all five senses that a human does--plus one more.  The sixth sense is made up of many tiny electrical sensing organs around its mouth called ampullae of Lorenzini.  These unique organs are used to detect the electrical changes of prey, even under the sand.  

Stingrays have flat bodies with broad fins on each side.  Some rays swim by flapping their fins like a bird's wings.  Others undulate their whole bodies.


Stingrays are not aggressive by nature but will defend themselves if an intruder gets too close.  It's best to stay away, but that is often hard to do since rays spend much of their day hidden.  

When startled, they whip their tail upward, exposing their barb(s).  The barb is notched and pointed on the end.  The larger the ray, the larger the barb.  The ray uses it's barb to inject toxin into the 'intruder'.  Most people are stung in the legs and/or ankles.  Once stung, it's best to seek medical attention.


Stingrays eat shrimp, mussels, crabs, oysters, and clams.  Their jaws are strong enough to crush right through a bivalve's outer shell or a crustacean's exoskeleton.

Life Cycle:

A female stingray gives birth once a year.  She will have around two to six pups.  By the time the pups are born, they look like miniature adults and are capable of finding food and protecting themselves.  Scientist think stingrays may live up to 20 years.

Stingrays are amazing!

Research Sources:

1.  "Stingrays".  Web. 03 Apr. 2018.  National Geographic: Photo Ark.  <>.
2.  "Stingrays".  Web 04 Apr. 2018.  National Geographic Kids. <>.

Image Credits:

1.  Stingrays by marygasaway is licensed under CCO Creative Commons.
2.  Ray and Sand by dietmaha is licensed under CCO Creative Commons.
3.  Stingray by PublicDomainPictures is licensed under CCO Creative Commons.

1 comment:

  1. beautiful creatures. not my friends. anything with word Sting in it.