With over 500 different species of rays identified, this group of cartilaginous fish are more varied then their cousin the shark. Stingrays derive their name from their long, skinny tails, many of which have poisonous stingers used for self-defense. Due to these predominant stingers, please take caution when diving or walking through waters with stingrays. As long as you keep a safe distance, you can experience beautiful dives with them. They are mostly found on the seabed where they hide under the sand and feed on fish, crabs, worms, snails, and other mollusks.
Stingrays have a flat body and are usually diamond shaped. They are wider than they are long and can grow up to 2.5 meters long and almost 3 meters wide, depending on the species. Its gills and mouth are both found on the bottom of their bodies, whereas their eyes are on the top, enabling them to watch their surroundings from the sea floor. These animals are extremely diverse and come in all kinds of different sizes, colors, and patterns. Your chances of encountering them while scuba diving is high since they live in all tropical and sub-tropical oceans around the world. Click here to find the most popular areas to dive with stingrays.