How much do you know about the rays? We show you some basics about them.
- Rays are fish, although they do not resemble friends with fins in your fishbowl at home, the rays belong to a group of Fish called Elasmobranch.
- Around 200 different species of rays have been discovered in total.
- The poison of the streaks was used as an anesthetic. Although painful, streak venom is usually not fatal unless the victims are stung in the chest or abdomen. In ancient Greece, the venom was extracted from striped thorns in order to be used as an anesthetic by dentists.
- The jaws of the rays can crush the shells of the mollusks. Although the jaws of the rays are cartilaginous, you are strong enough to crush the clam shells and other mollusks. The calcified cartilage in its jaws has several layers of thickness, the softer nuclei of the elements of its jaws are supported by hollow and mineralized struts. This makes the jaws of the rays strong and light at the same time.
- Some rays move like waves and others like birds. Most rays swim across the ocean waving their bodies in a wave-like motion. Others depress their sides up and down, giving them the appearance of a bird through their journey into the ocean.
- Electric rays are named for their ability to generate and discharge electric currents strong enough to stun their prey or to defend the potential predators that can stalk you.
- Rays can vary greatly in size. The smallest ray is the short-nosed electric ray that is approximately 10 cm wide and weighs about 400 g.
The oceanic blanket is the largest ray that reaches up to 7m in wing length and weighs 2,000 kg.