What’s 8 feet across, 14 feet long, and weighs almost 800 pounds?

The world’s biggest freshwater fish. And it’s no ordinary fish, it’s a giant freshwater stingray, also known as a freshwater whipray.

The ray was captured in Thailand’s Mae Klong River last week.

whipray

by Charlene N Simmons

Rays and their shark relatives are cartilaginous fishes. That means they don’t have hard bones like we do. Instead their skeleton is made of flexible cartilage (feel your upper ear or the tip of your nose–that’s what shark and ray bones are made of).

Rays are gentle creatures that spend much of their time buried in sand. They use their stinging spines only when threatened (such as if you step on one).

 

Did you know? Many stingray species communicate by sending electrical impulses through the water. Other rays detect the pulses using pores lining the underside of the body.

Want to know more? Check out the Animal Diversity Web page on freshwater whiprays.

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