Common Name: Bull Ray

Scientific Name: Pteromylaeus bovinus

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Chondrichthyes

Order: Rajiformes

Family: Myliobatidae

Genus: Pteromylaeus

Species: P. bovinus

 

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You may have never have heard of the Bull Ray, but if you have, you might only know it as the type of ray who stung Steve Irwin the crocodile hunter. The Bull ray has many different common names, like the cowfish, mill ray, whip ray, whiptail ray, and Southern eagle ray. The Bull Ray is found swimming along the African and European oceans. They are also found in the Black and Mediterranean Seas. They also live between Portugal and Guinea, and around Australia. They prefer warm waters to cool waters.

 

The Bull Ray can be several colors, from grey spotted, brownish grey, and yellowish with bluish spots. Their skin is smooth and a bit slimy. Bull Rays can grow to over five and a half feet wide and can be over 8 feet long, from snout to tail. Females, who are larger than males, can be over 90 pounds. Bull rays are circular with a flat nose.

 

The Bull Ray's diet is mainly snails, muscles and crustaceans. It cracks their hard shells with large teeth in the mouth, which is located on their underside. The Bull ray's only defense is a poison barb on its tail, which they thrash around at predators. These barbs are cut off in captivity.

Author: Paul C

published: 04/2009

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_ray http://marine-life.suite101.com/article.cfm/stingray_tail_carries_weapon

 

Photo Credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8e/Pteromylaeus_bovinus.jpg