The longtail stingray (now Bathytoshia lata, previously Dasyatis thetidis) goes by many multiple names, including the thorntail stingray and black stingray. They are seen swimming in southern African waters, Australia, and New Zealand to depths as deep as 440 m (1,440 ft), and like lagoons, estuaries, and reefs. They can get to be pretty big: some measure up to 1.8 m (5.9 ft) across and weigh more than 200 kg (440 lb), making it one of the largest stingrays worldwide. A pretty neat title to have, if we say so ourselves.
It's diamond-shape is black/dark brown on the dorsal side, a creamy underbelly, and a long tail (hence the common name). The dorsal side, and along the tail, bear sharp thorns for protection. And while they have a venomous spine, they are not aggressive towards humans!
The first time TFUI founder Melissa saw a zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum) was in SeaWorld Orlando. It was an instantly recognizable creature out of all the others: no more than 3.50 m (11.4 ft) long, it's was covered in black spots on a yellow background, a sharp contrast to the gray bodies of others. She almost forgot the awe of seeing one of these the first time... that is until she went to SeaLife Sydney Aquarium and just listened to reactions of those around her. Yes, what an odd shark indeed. One of is common names, "zebra shark," lends to its coloration pattern when the shark is less than 70 cm, a juvenile. The other common name, "leopard shark," is to its adult pattern, as seen in the picture above by Mark Schellekens.
The spotted wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus) belongs to the Orectolobidae family, and is found in the eastern Indian Ocean around Australia; it is possibly endemic to this region. A relatively large shark (reaching lengths of up to 3m/9.8 ft), other common names are "carpet shark," "common carpet shark," "common catshark," "tassel shark," or just "wobbegong."
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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