Stingrays Are Not As Silent As Believed

Stingrays appear to glide silently through oceans, but a group of researchers in Australia have found that rays can make sounds, especially when under duress.

  • Social media recordings of stingrays making sounds have now dispelled the long-held assumption that rays lacked the biological capability to make noise.

  • The sounds made by the rays have been described as a series of short but loud clicking sounds.

  • It appears that the rays only make the sounds when under duress.

  • Few people have ever heard the sounds because scuba equipment produces noise with its bubbles that tend to overwhelm other sounds produced underwater.

  • Investigations of the sound production in rays are now underway, looking first to find out how they make the sounds and then the ways that they are used.

This is a summary of the article “Evidence of sound production in wild stingrays,” published by the Ecological Society of America on July 8. The full article can be found on esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com.

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