Have you ever wanted to get up close and personal with a stingray in their natural environment? Now you can! Blue Lagoon Island is excited to announce our all-new Stingray Encounter where you can get face-to-fin with these graceful animals. Wade into our all-natural lagoon and touch, get up close and spend time interacting with our native Bahamian stingrays. After your encounter, enjoy snorkeling in the crystal waters of Blue Lagoon Island surrounded by these gentle creatures. Learn more about the conservation of the species and what you can do to protect not only them, but also our environment – specifically our world’s oceans.
Did you know that there are over 500 species of rays?! Rays belong to the superorder of Batoids – which includes stingrays, electric rays, skates, guitarfish, and sawfish. Like sharks – their close relatives – Batoids have skeletons made of tough connective tissue called cartilage. Unlike sharks, rays crush their food – prey such as conch, crawfish, worms and fish that live on the seafloor. Their flattened teeth are called dermal denticles and are made of dense bands of cartilage strong enough to crush shells. The unique hunting abilities of a stingray – digging, sucking, and crushing – benefit many reef animals – even sea birds – who follow rays in hopes of finding lunch.
As masters of disguise, stingrays can completely camouflage themselves in the sand or soft seafloor, hiding from predators above. If viewed from below while swimming, the bright belly of a ray will match a daylight sky above, helping it escape large predators such as sharks.
Armed with a serrated, venomous-covered barb, a ray will raise its tail like a scorpion and stab a predator with its barb if threatened. However, stingrays are quite docile. More likely to swim away from a predator. Ejecting the barb will leave an animal very vulnerable as the new barb will take months to grow back. Fun fact: many years ago, the venom on the barb was actually harvested to use as an anesthetic during dental surgeries.
All of us at Blue Lagoon are so excited to include these phenomenally diverse animals in our programs and to “rays” awareness and make an impact on the health of the ocean!