There are many stingray species which range from one to fifteen feet and vary in shape from circular to triangular shapes. The animal's name comes from a dagger-like spine which protrudes from the stingray's tail. With such a curious weapon, the stingray has the ability to inflict severe wounds and has even killed unaware swimmers as they accidently stepped on it.
Order : Hypotremata
Family : Dasyatidae
Genus : Dasyatis
Average Length : Up to 14 feet
Average Weight : From 1 to 750 lbs
Diet : Mollusks, fish and crustaceans
Lifespan : Unknown
Food, Feeding and Hunting : The major part of the stingray's diet consists of worms, carrion, squid and crustaceans. The stingrays' mouth is on it's underside of it's body, which enables it to dig crabs and shrimp out of the sea bed. It wide jaws has a collection of blunt, broad teeth alligned in several rows. The stingray's teeth are primarily used for cracking the shells of it's protected prey. It's muddy coloration and pattern allow it to perfectly blend in with the ocean floor, though it often gives away it location by lifting up a cloud of sediment.
Breeding : Few facts are known about the breeding habits of the stingray. Although it is known that the offspring emerge form the female's body, for they hatch within the mother's body. When the eggs are layed, and the young are in their early stage of development they feed on the yolk in the eggs. As they mature, they begin to take food in from the mother through her uterine wall. They are born between late spring and early summer, and when born are about 7 inches.
Distribution : Stingrays are found in tropical and temperate seas worldwide. They have also been found as far north as Scandinavia.
Conservation : The stingray is in no direct danger from extinction. The only threat which has recently emerged is the non-stop dumping of pollution in the seas which affect the stingray's prey.
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