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Everything But the Shark Week: Stingrays

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To paraphrase comedian Jerry Seinfeld, what’s the deal with stingrays? Am I right? Are they the frightening creatures that punctured Steve Irwin’s heart? Or the creatures you see all the toddlers petting at the local aquarium? Or, maybe, just lovable, singing creatures like Finding Nemo’s Mr. Ray? (Or all of those things?)

Much of what we know about stingrays comes from their news features, like the 2012 stingray photo bomb. The most recent appearance of stingrays in the headlines happened in June 2021 when a Tik Tok video of a man tickling a stingray went viral. This led to debate over whether or not the stingray was enjoying the experience. The verdict was that while stingrays don’t mind being touched, they like to be touched in their own habitats, not while suffocating.

Although headlines may feature these smiling animals often, clickbait headlines usually don’t tell the whole story.

So, in the words of one famous sting ray, “Climb aboard, explorers!” as we “dive deeper” into the depths of stingray facts found in Falvey’s collection!


…can weigh up to 800 lbs? The same weight as a moose or grizzly bear!

…baby stingrays are called pups?

…Ancient Greek dentists used the venom from the stingray’s spine as an anesthetic?

…groups of traveling stingrays can contain up to 10,000 individuals and are called a “fever”?

…Fossil records date stingrays back to the Jurassic period, about 150 million years ago?

…there are over 200 species of stingrays?





Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.



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Last Modified: July 15, 2021

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