There are sixgill sharks… and there are sixgill stingrays. Betcha didn’t know that! The sixgill stingray, Hexatrygon bickelli, is a flabby ray with- you guessed it- six gill openings. With a long, pointed snout, a round body and small eyes it’s not the best looking animal.
The colour scheme doesn’t make it sound any better: brown colour, pinkish white snout and a pale underbelly. It also has a short tail that accompanies its spine. With a maximum size of 111 cm, they are found in the waters off Southern Africa, Java, Japan, Taiwan, Hawaii, Philippines, New Caledonia and Australia. Quite a large distribution!
Now, remember that long, pointed snout? It has a purpose! It’s highly flexible, and is presumably used for detecting food in soft substrates it inhabits. Its prey is unknown, however, as is their reproductive methods. The IUCN has assessed these animals as Least Concern (LC).
did you know about this ray before?
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
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