Little Ray Stingray and Shark Book
July 2017 by V. R. Duin

FISHY FISH

Sometimes when we trip or fumble,
Teamwork may just stop our stumble.
That's why we must always show respect
To help that comes as we least expect.
(“Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up”)

“Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up”, a stingray and shark book for children, explores the differences between these fishy fish relatives.

“Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up” is a stingray and shark book for children that presents many of the differences and similarities between stingrays and sharks. Stingrays and a sharks are fish! They also are related. These fish cousins do not have bones. Instead, they are made of cartilage. The illustrations in Little Ray's stingray and shark book for children make a lot of things clear about these fishy fish. A stingray does not look or swim like a shark, or most other fish. Some stingrays move their flat, rounded bodies through the water in a wavy motion. Others flap their fins like bird wings, and soar through the water. A stingray's mouth is under its body, as are its nostrils and gills. The eyes are on the top of the body, which helps stingrays see while they are lying partially hidden in the ocean floor. This is where these fishy fish spend most of their time.

A group of sharks is called a shiver, while a group of stingrays is called a fever. Unlike the eyes of stingrays, sharks' eyes are on the sides, and are useful for hunting. While hunting, both stingrays and sharks improve their effectiveness with electro-receptors that detect electrical charges emitted by their prey. The bite of a shark can be very dangerous to humans, whereas the bite of a stingray is fairly mild. A stingray might shed an occasional tooth, while crunching food with hard shells. That tooth will be replaced. Sharks are in serious need of a tooth fairy, as they shed tens of thousands of teeth in their lifetimes, which can span one hundred years. The lifespan of a stingray also is significantly less.

Stingrays prefer shallow waters that are near shore. They migrate to warm parts of the world. Sharks also migrate to warmer temperatures, but they are known to swim to deep, dark, cold depths. Of course, sharks also come close to shore. Since fish are cold-blooded, they take on the temperature of their environment. As any swimmer or scuba diver knows, water drains body heat faster than air does. Wet suits and heated pools are used for human protection. Sharks are a truly fishy fish in their ability to elevate the temperature of some of their body parts for protection during deep, cold hunts. Stingrays do not have this ability, so they generally stay in warmer waters.

Not all stingrays or all sharks are dangerous to people, but sharks have fearsome reputations. It is rare for stingrays and sharks to get along, but Little Ray and the shark in this adventure work hard at encouraging teamwork. There is a lot of diversity among stingrays and sharks. As adults, these fishy fish can weigh from a less than pound to many tons, depending on the species. Thailand is the place to see whale sharks. They are huge, but not dangerous. These humongous fish dwarf humans in size, but they eat plankton. To eat enough of this microscopic food to survive, the whale shark does not passively filter food. It actively pumps food into its mouth. Nobody knows how many giant oceanic manta rays remain in the wild. The manta ray is grand in size, but it has no teeth and no stinger. It uses plates in its mouth to filter plankton and other food particles from the water while it is swimming. This is just a “taste” of these fishy fish.

  • Sharks and Rays
  • 3 comments

    • fishy fish admin says:

      These fishy fish can be purchased from tropical fish stores, but stingrays and sharks don't belong in the same aquarium.

    • stingray and shark book for children admin says:

      In Little Ray's stingray and shark book for children, these fish travel together, so children can compare them.

      • encouraging teamworkadmin says:

        Encounters with stingrays and sharks generally require protective equipment and procedures encouraging teamwork.