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Sensational Stingrays!

The stingrays are a large suborder of the rays. They are cartilaginous fishes related to sharks.

Most stingrays have one or more barbed stings on the tail, which is used only for self defending. The sting may reach about 35 cm, and its underside has two grooves with venom glands. The sting is covered with a thin layer of skin, the sheath, in which the venom is held. A few members of the suborder, such as the manta rays and the porcupine ray, do not have stings.

Stingrays are common in coastal tropical and subtropical marine waters throughout the world. There are species in warm temperate oceans, and some found in the ocean. Some live in fresh water.

Stingrays settle on the bottom while feeding, often leaving only their eyes and tail visible. Coral reefs are favorite feeding grounds and are usually shared with sharks during high tide

The flattened bodies of stingrays allow them to hide themselves. Stingrays agitate the sand and hide beneath it. Because their eyes are on top of their bodies and their mouths on the undersides, stingrays cannot see their prey. They use smell and electro-receptors similar to those of sharks.

Stingrays feed mostly on molluscs, crustaceans, and occasionally on small fish. Some stingrays' mouths contain two powerful, shell-crushing plates, while other species only have sucking mouthparts.


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