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R Is For Ray

Updated on December 9, 2013

The ray is one of a family of sea creatures that don't have a single bone in their bodies. Althought they are a type of fish, they are sometimes nicknamed "birds of the deep" which comes from the way they look when swimming. Sometimes you will see amazing film of them swimming with undersea divers, and the size difference can just be amazing.

A Manta Ray Silhouetted by Sun Rays
Filtered Through Water

Raul Touzon

16x12 Photographic Print

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Rays are a family of species whose members are cartilage fish. They are somewhat closely related to sharks, who also don't have bony skeletons. Most species live in and around coral reefs

Manta rays, or giant rays can grow so big as to have 25 foot wing diameters. The flaps near the mouth are called horns, and the manta ray can move them to control and direct the water that flows into its mouth.

Rays have a barbed tail, a stinger, which they use for defense. Although normally docile creatures, their stings are both toxic and painful.

What do Rays eat?

Depending on the species, rays eat a range, from plankton to shellfish and other small fish.

Great Ray Stuff For Kids - books and toys related to rays and sharks

Stingray Tragedy!

Australian naturalist Steve Irwin was killed when a ray he was swimming near was startled and the barbed stinger penetrated his chest and heart. Such stings are extremely rare with most chance encounters producing a painful but survivable sting on an arm or leg.

See Some Rays Via Video


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