This ray is resting on the ocean floor.
Click on image for full size
Windows Original, adapted from Corel Photography
The sea rays are probably the most mysterious creatures of the ocean.
Many have soft, widely spanned bodies that flow through the water like silk. They have a variety of appetites--some enjoy corals, fish and crustaceans, while others feast on zooplankton. Regardless, rays are truly amazing animals that catch the eye of most visitors to the ocean.
Although humans have no need to worry about a ray attack, they also should be very careful when coming in contact with one. Many species, such as the Blue-spotted Fan Ray, have venomous spikes on their long tails. Others, like the Numbfish, will shock their enemies with 200 volts of electricity.
Rays come in a variety of sizes and colors. The giant Manta Ray can
reach over 19 feet in width, and has a dark-blue top with an almost white bottom. Although they are very large, the Manta Rays are usually passive and gentle. Even so, many parts of the world still call it the Devil Ray. Other rays, like the Mangrove Stingray, only reach widths of 5 feet. But don't be fooled by their sizes, the smaller rays tend to be the more dangerous ones!
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
"Science, Evolution, and Creationism
", by the National Academies, provides fascinating background on these topics for all, and is particularly useful for the Earth and space science classroom. Check our other books
in our online store
You might also be interested in:
Jupiter's atmospheric environment is one of strong gravity, high pressure, strong winds, from 225 miles per hour to 1000 miles per hour, and cold temperatures of -270 degrees to +32 degrees (freezing temperature)....more
In July, 1996, it was announced that Dr. David McKay, along with a team of scientists at Johnson Space Center (a division of NASA), had discovered possible fossils of bacteria in an ancient rock from Mars....more
Saturn's atmospheric environment is one of strong gravity, high pressure, strong winds, from 225 miles per hour to 1000 miles per hour, and cold temperatures of -270 degrees to +80 degrees. With winds...more
Titan's atmosphere is a lot like the Earth's, except that it is very cold, from -330 degrees to -290 degrees! Like the Earth, there is a lot of Nitrogen and other complex molecules. There also may be an...more
Autotrophs are organisms that produce organic compounds from an inorganic source of carbon (carbon dioxide) given a source of energy. If the source of energy is the reactions of inorganic chemical compounds,...more
In the warm primordial ocean, aggregates of amino acids, proteins, and other hydrocarbons coalesced into a form called *coacervates*. Organic polymers such as amino acids will spontaneously form coacervates...more
Organisms that are able to make their own food (in the form of sugars) by using the energy of the Sun are called autotrophs, meaning "self-feeders". Photosynthesis is the name of the process through which...more