Tanmay Varshney Period 8 5/16/16

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Rays are fascinating animals don't actually have a fascinating habitat. They only really live in two places. These are animals that usually live on the sea floor (McCosker). They live here for a reason. This is their prime source for food. Although they get lots of food here some rays live in open waters, such as a manta ray. Most rays that live in open waters are located in more coastal areas (McCosker).


Rays use there pectoral fins or "wings" to swim through the water. They usually swim in packs of large rays (Walker 9). But one type of ray, called the Mobula Ray, swims a different way. It does swim with a school of rays but it swims long distances. While it swims it jumps through the air, does a flip, and belly flops back into the water (Modaferri).

Body Covering

Rays are very flat, which is good for hiding under the sand on the sea floor. It evolves from a shark. But unlike a shark, a ray has eyes on the side of its head (Walker 6). These animals can grow up to 22 feet long (Walker 13). Rays are known widely for having a dangerous spine, or as it is known, a stinger (Walker 7). These rays do not have skeletons like ours, which are made of bone. They have skeleton made of cartilage. This is a soft material that also covers the tips of your nose and ears. It also weighs a lot lighter, which helps the rays "glide" through the water (Walker 8).
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Rays are carnivores. The diet changes from ray to ray, but main foods include; worms, fish, squid, shrimp, crabs, lobsters, clams, mussels, oysters, and snails. They catch there prey by hiding under the sand and popping out as soon as the prey come near (Walker 20). Some rays use there fins to sweep up small creatures like plankton. A saw-fish, another type of ray, stirs the sand which makes small animals pop out. Different rays have different ways of getting food (Walker 21).


Rays reproduce sexually, which means they have to come together to mate. Usually rays mate during breeding-season, which is a certain time when they mate. Females will usually have over 7 males to mate with (Walker 36). Males and females don't remain together after mating. When the sperm is deposited into the egg, an embryo is created. An embryo is the first stage of growth in life. A yolk sac provides nutrients for the embryo. When the yolk has no more nutrients to give, the mother has to supply nutrients directly to the embryo (Walker 37). An embryo needs about the same amount of time in the mother's body as a human, 3-11 months. Many rays are born at the same time. A baby ray is called a pup and looks almost the same as it's parents. As soon as these pups are born they are on there own, or independent (Walker 38).
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Rays have evolved from sharks. The first true rays lived about 150 million years ago, while sharks have lived for more than 400 million years ago. Many of there attributes have changed. For starters, most rays mostly live on the sea floor because it is easier to catch food. There bodies have become thinner so that they can hide under the sand. Sharks teeth are sharp so they tear apart food, rays teeth are flat so they can crush there food. There front fins are called pectoral fins, these "wings" became a lot stronger and bigger so they could swim with ease. These pectoral fins got connected to there heads (Walker 9).
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Other Info

  • belong to the class Chondrichthyes (Walker 10)
  • belong to the order Rajiformes (Walker 10)
  • body is known as disks (Walker 10)
  • skates make up the largest group of rays (Walker 10)
  • skates are the only rays that lay eggs (Walker 11)
  • sting rays make up the 2nd largest group of rays (Walker 11)
  • electric rays are 3rd largest (Walker 11)
  • claspers are used in mating, only females have them (Walker 15)
  • denticles protect from injury (Walker 16)
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Works Cited

McCosker, John E. "Ray." World Book. N.p.: n.p., 2016. N. pag. World Book
Advanced. Web. 10 May 2016. <http://www.worldbookonline.com/advanced/

Walker, Sally M. Rays. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 2003. Print.

Braunstein, Michael. Stingray. N.d. Ocean.nationalgeographic.com. Web. 14 May

2016. <http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/photos/ocean-rays/#/

Doubilet, David. Manta Ray and Wrasse. N.d. Ocean.nationalgeographic.com. Web.
14 May 2016. <http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/photos/

Douwma, Georgette. Ribbontailed Stingray. N.d. Arkive.org. Web. 14 May 2016.

Grenouillet, Marie. Southern Stingray. 2006. Focusonnature.com. Web. 14 May
2016. <http://www.focusonnature.com/BelizeFishEasternMexicoFish.htm>.

Hutsch, J. Blue Spotted Stingray. N.d. Britannica.com. Web. 11 May 2016.

Istockphoto, Haveseen. Manta Ray. N.d. Photograph.

McCall, Keith. Spotted Eagle Ray. N.d. Britannica.com. Web. 11 May 2016.

Monterey Bay Aquarium. Bat Ray. N.d. Montereybayaquarium.com. Web. 14 May 2016.

National Geographic. Mobula Ray. N.d. Kids.nationalgeographic.com. Web. 13 May
2016. <http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mobula-ray/

Worldanimallife. Stingray. N.d. Worldanimallife.yolasite.com. Web. 14 May 2016.

World Book. Little Skate. N.d. Worldbookonline.com. Web. 13 May 2016.