There are many different species of stingray, each with unique characteristics and behaviours, but all of them equally impressive. They are fish, despite the lack of resemblance to the more common species of fish that we envision. Stingrays have flattened bodies to allow them to swim over the sand and coral as they search for food. They use electro sensors in their wings and snouts that allow them to detect even the smallest electrical impulses of creatures hidden below. They hover over their prey and beat their wings to stir up the sand and the small animals along with it. They inhale their food and vent the sand and debris out through gill holes on the top of the heads. Stingrays have a reputation as being fearsome creatures that are a threat to humans. While they do possess a sharp barb in their tail that is equipped with a powerful neurotoxin, this is designed for defense, not attacking, and the stingray is not likely to ever pose a threat, unless provoked. Stingrays in the shallows have been stepped on and they are capable of lashing out when they believe they are being attacked from above, but unprovoked, intentional attacks on humans are unheard of. Highly intelligent, these animals are fascinating to watch from a respectful distance. This baby stingray is a rare sight for the scuba divers filming this encounter. It is extremely rare to see such a young juvenile out on the open. As it glided over the sand in search of food, these divers watched in amazement. The rapid flutters and wing beats are adorable to watch as this youngster hunts for a meal in Belize.
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