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Southern stingrays have large, flat, diamond-shaped disks without distinct heads. Their dark-brown upper bodies and white or whitish underbellies are ideal camouflage for animals that spend their days well buried in sand. From above, only their eyes and huge spiracles (often mistaken for eyes) are visible. At night, stingrays slowly graze over the sandy seafloor. Since their eyes are on top of their bodies, they depend on electro-receptors and keen senses of smell and touch to find food. To uncover buried prey, stingrays force jet streams of water through their mouths or flop their fins over the sand. If they find a clam, the rays’ stubby teeth are strong enough to easily crush the shells. Then they spit out the fragments.
Ranguana Cay, Belize