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May 12

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Stingrays

Stingrays

 

Stingrays, JOIN SCUBA SCHOOL AND TOURS AND START YOUR ADVENTURE! Imagine diving in some of the worlds most beautiful oceans, and you come across a Stingray.

Stingrays, what a strange looking creature!  Oddly enough in some weird crazy way they are kind of, sort of addicted…no wait, its related; to Sharks. I know, don’t ask me how, I’m a Attack Dwarf expert…not a Stingray expert.

Most of them have 1 to 2 barbs protruding from their tail.  These are used predominantly for self defence, and less predominantly for subtly detouring the Dwarfs which keep plaguing the Soul Adventures team!  You know for a bunch of burley men, who do all these fantastic adventures…listed Below… (Keep reading, the story continues….)

…can be so afraid of a little Dwarf attack, we here at Soul Scuba School and Tours, have been secretly training our Dwarfs in a secret underwater location, right behind the 3rd wave on the backline of the Sodwana Coastline.  Why underwater you may ask?  Well its simple, the lack of oxygen training, is a massive advantage when attacking tired trekkers at altitudes whilst achieving a spectacular “Cross off and item” on their bucket list!

SO HERE IS WAYNE’S TAKE ON STINGRAYS

“Let me fill you in on my experiences I have had with these beautiful animals that has changed my life.

Sting Rays as most might know are related to sharks! What you say? Yes that’s right! They don’t have sharp teeth and the power and aggression as sharks do. But in some way they are just as eerie as sharks.

In my travels, I have been given the experience of a life time, being able to work with them. Specifically the southern sting ray. To view pictures of these, please check out our gallery.

Many people who would see one, would keep their distance. I try get as close as possible. In my training and handling of sting rays I learnt not to be scared of them. They tend to be like CATS! Looking and seeking for attention, rubbing up against you, just like cats. Their awesome figure allows them to camouflage themselves perfectly in the sand. They use their nose, which in some sense is shaped like a spade. They flatter their wings and use their nose to kick up sand and cover themselves and if you have never seen one, it’s very difficult to spot with the naked eye.

Sting rays are bottom feeders, they eat things like molluscs, clams, shrimps, snails, and small fish etc.. Which in most circumstances they suck out of the ground. Yes they have a vacuum system in which they extract their food from the sand, they then crush their food, with powerful force. Eating what they want and spitting the remains out of their spiracles. These are holes just above the Rays eyes. Which if you are close enough, you can see how they work.

A rays mouth, as said earlier, are not filled with big, sharp scary looking teeth. They have tiny engravings, on a flat cartilage plat, both in the top and bottom of the jaw. Which can close with a great amount of pressure. They kind of look as if someone has stolen their teeth and all that is left are flapping gums. If you had to ever get your fingers stuck in their mouth, it would feel like you just hit them with a hammer. Sting rays are well known to give a pretty good hikki, or otherwise known as a love bite. These can be quite sore, but the pain goes away within a few minutes. You are then able to go back home with a sting ray souvenir and cool story to tell!

Ok, the BARB, or stinger as we all know and fear so much. The barb is situated on most rays, almost mid way on their tail. A ray can have 1, 2 or maybe 3 barbs, where they will break off eventually and within a average period of 3 months, they will grow it back. The barb itself is a serrated cartilage spine, pretty much shaped like a Christmas tree and covered with a protective sheath,( a bacterial mucus).

Right if you have or know someone who has been stung, you will know it’s no joke! Try taking the average bee sting and times it by a thousand. The best remedy for a sting like this, no not pee, but boiling water, as hot as you can handle. Then seek medical attention from a doctor!

If the barb has broken off and stuck in your skin, do not try pulling it back out. This could cause it to break again or if you manage to take it out, it will leave the bacterial mucus in the wound, which may cause infection. The best way is to push it out the opposite side, as painfully as it might sound, it’s the best way not to have it break again or leave anything behind you don’t want there.

 

Right, males and females! Female sting rays, can live approximately 15 to 25 years.

Their size from being born at just a few inches big maxes out at roughly 4 to 5 feet wide. Male sting rays are funny enough the smaller ones. They live around the same time period as a female and their size when born is the same but when all grown up the males max out at 25 to 30 inches. Also with the males, being one of the most luckiest animals ever, have not one but two reproductive organs, situated along each side the base of their tail.”

Learn to Scuba Dive or take one of our Diving Trips and you to will be able to have an experience like Wayne

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.souladventures.co.za/2014/05/12/stingrays/