Native Village Youth and Education News

March 1, 2009 Issue 195 Volume 4


Mass Migration of Stingrays
By Chanaka
Condensed by Native Village

Mexico: Looking like giant leaves floating in the sea, several thousand Golden Rays began one of their biannual mass migrations to more agreeable waters. Sandra Critelli, an amateur photographer, stumbled across the phenomenon while looking for whalesharks.

She said: "It was an unreal image, very difficult to describe," she said. "The surface of the water was covered by warm and different shades of gold and looked like a bed of autumn leaves gently moved by the wind.

"It's hard to say exactly how many there were, but in the range of a few thousand'

"We were surrounded by them without seeing the edge of the school and we could see many under the water surface too. I feel very fortunate I was there in the right place at the right time to experience nature at its best'

Golden Rays, also known as cow nose rays,  measure up to 7ft (2.1 meters) from wing-tip to wing-tip. They have long, pointed pectoral fins that separate into two lobes in front of their high-domed heads and give them a cow-like appearance. Despite their poisonous stingers, Golden Rays are known to be shy and non-threatening when in large schools.

The population in the Gulf of Mexico migrates, in schools of as many as 10,000, clockwise from western Florida to the Yucatan.


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