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Giant Whiptail Ray

Himantura dalyensis

ON EXHIBIT: River Giants exhibit in River Journey

Giant Whiptail Ray

Whiptail Stingrays are benthic rays that spend a great deal of time buried under the sand or mud with just their eyes protruding. This is considered primarily a defensive strategy rather than a stealthy way to surprise prey. Because they tire easily when swimming, remaining buried is the ideal way to avoid becoming lunch. They are heavily preyed on by a number of shark species (especially by hammerheads).

This species should be considered Critically Endangered throughout its known range. H. dalyensis has been and will continue to be affected by the complex and synergistic effects of the restrictions of its obligate freshwater habitat, fishing pressures and habitat alteration/destruction. The possibility of biological extinction in the wild is considered extremely high.

Whiptail ray

About This Animal

SIZE: They reaches over 6 feet in the wild.

RANGE: The giant freshwater stingray is known from highly disjunct locales including fresh waters in Thailand in the Chao Phraya, Nan, Mekong, Bongpakong, Tachin and Tapi Rivers. It may occur in most of the large rivers of tropical Australia. 

HABITAT: Most are confined to marine habitats but some are known to migrate into brackish estuarine environments and a few species are well adapted to live year round in both fresh and salt water.

DIET: They have a varied diet. Depending on availability they are known to eat mollusks, crustaceans, jellyfish, and bony fishes. 

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