When I think of the best sea creature, there can only be one option: the stingray. Stingrays are happy, smiling, lovely little creatures. They like to wave at you with their fins and propel themselves through water in an elegant manner. Although this creature is adorable in every way, shape and form, it is still decidedly very underrated. However, I have taken it upon myself to spread as much love and information about the stingray as possible. This is largely in part because many stingray species are endangered or going extinct. My hope is to raise awareness towards the species and spread love for these beautiful sea creatures.
Before you become an avid fan of the stingray, you need some basic information to get you started. While stingrays are typically colored a light gray to brown, they also tend to match the mud they are hiding in. Stingrays spend most of their time partially buried on the ocean floor. It is important that they can blend into their surroundings so that they are able to hide from predators. This also allows them to disguise themselves as they wait for prey to swim by. The diet of the stingray typically depicts of oysters, clams, crabs and mussels. Some freshwater stingrays even feast upon insects! Upon finding prey, a stingray will use its strong jaw to crush its prey. They prefer shallow water in warm parts of the Earth. Don’t we all? Stingrays also have fins that run the entire length of their body. This gives them a flat and round shape that allows them to move smoothly through the water.
If you need any more of a reason to love the stingray, let’s focus on how independent they are! Female stingrays generally give birth about once a year. Female stingrays typically have anywhere from two to six babies. While a baby stingray is still inside its mother, it continues to grow and develop into a large stingray. This allows young stingrays to fend for themselves immediately after birth. Talk about strong and independent!
Along with being heartwarming sea creatures, stingrays are not naturally aggressive towards humans. They tend to only attack when provoked, such as when they are stepped on. Even then, injuries typically are non-fatal unless you are pierced by one of their blades in a vital area. Injury from a stingray blade can include pain, cramps, swelling and later infection. The blade is usually barbed and tends to break off in the wound, so it is recommended to seek medical attention right away.
Due to the increased action of unregulated fishing, stingrays, among many other species, are getting increasingly closer to extinction. As of 2013, forty-five different kinds of stingray species were listed as vulnerable or endangered. Although not everyone is an animal person, we can all agree on one thing: we need to protect the stingrays! They are always smiling at you, even when you cannot see it. I hope we can continue to develop protection and love for the stingrays, because they are valuable sea creatures made by God.