Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Giant Freshwater Stingray

(Image Source)
The Giant Freshwater Stingray (Himantura chaophraya) is a massive, massive fish found in the tropical river waters of South East Asia and Australia. They can grow to sizes of over 94in across (about 240cm) and the largest specimen caught weighed 1,322lbs (600kg). Even their young are huge! They are an ovoviviparous species whose offspring can measure 13in (34cm) at birth!

Giant Freshwater Stringrays are in fact dangerous to humans, but not because they eat them. These creatures actually feed on small fish and invertebrates. However, as their name might suggest, they have stinging barbs on their tails. These venomous, mucus covered barbs can grow to 15in (38cm) long, and with their whip-like tails, these Stingrays can pierce bone.

These enormous creatures are currently very vulnerable, and all populations are listed as at least that by the IUCN. The Thailand sub-population is Critically Endangered. They faces issues with habitat destruction, fishing, mine-caused silt deposits, and population fragmentation.

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