All about the Sting-Ray-Fish
The sad and tragic demise of the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin to a barbed sting from a sting-ray-fish has shocked all of us that loved and respected his passion for wildlife.
I have fished and caught many sting-rays and have always had a healthy respect for the tail. In most cases I will simply cut loose the ray rather than pull it in. Like many I have swum above rays and usually they will take off with a flurry of sand.
The stingray (Dasyatidae) is a part of a larger family of rays that are related to both sharks and skates. They are very common in coastal tropical water and in most places throughout the world.
They range in size from the size of a saucer to 6 feet across and an overall length including the tail, of 14-15 feet. Stingrays or Dasyatids swim through the water using a graceful flying motion, and this is by using their large pectoral wings.
So what killed Steve Irwin? The sting ray has a long whip like tail. This is a serrated cartilaginous spine that grows from the sting ray tail. It is razor-sharp, and has a barb.
The sting in a sting-ray comes from the underside of the spine. There are 2 grooves that have glandular tissue that secretes venom.
The whole spine is also covered with a thin outer layer of skin that is also called the integumentary sheath, and the venom is concentrated here.
The barbed tail is a defensive weapon and the sting-ray seems very accurate when using it.
Most stingray stings occur to the legs or arms, and although they can be very painful were common and, while painful they don’t commonly kill people. There are many sting-ray types and the barns typically are up to 30cm long with a range of toxins. About the sting-ray-fish
Make sure you visit Steve Aussie Zoo when in Australia, its brilliant! RIP Steve! Discovery Channel has been so quiet without you!