Monday, November 4, 2013

Five Haller’s Round Stingrays Born Behind the Scenes at the Tennessee Aquarium

Last week, aquarium keepers welcomed five baby Haller’s Round Stingrays to the world. These adorable little rays were born to a mother that recently arrived at the Aquarium. While going through a routine quarantine period, this stingray gave birth. The mother, and eight other adult stingrays acquired at the same time, will be put on display in the Stingray Bay touch tank once the quarantine period is complete. The babies will be cared for off-exhibit until they are large enough to be displayed.

The Haller’s Round Stingray, Urobatis halleri, is a common species of ray native to the coastal waters of the eastern Pacific. The species prefers sandy or muddy bottoms in shallow waters close to beaches. Round sting rays eat primarily benthic invertebrates – organisms that live in or on the sediment of the ocean floor - and small fish.  

Right now these babies measure about three inches (minus the tail). Mature adults can reach maximum disc sizes of slightly more than 12 inches.

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