I’ve never really liked stinrays, mainly because of the stinger. I don’t mind things that bite so much. Things that sting just creep me out to no end. That all may have changed last summer in Toronto zoo’s stingray petting tank. They were odd little creatures but very docile. Their skin was surprisingly gritty too and unsurprisingly a cause for their poaching.
Not much can be gathered of these things easily. They’re a cartilaginous species of fish and as such cousins to sharks who seem to be more interesting to all and sundry – myself included. The sting seems to be the most remarkable feature of the species and apparently it is used more or less as a last ditch effort (and always in self defense) for all but the larger species as they prefer to flee or hide when they can. This is also how most humans get stung; they accidentally step on the rays as they’re hiding in the sand in shallow waters, minding their own business. Poor guys just can’t catch a break.