Friday, September 08, 2017 written by Macy Gibbons and photographed by Mika Miller

Our Ocean Explorer gallery has a wide variety of animals from large Nurse sharks to tiny Dwarf seahorses, but its biggest draw is the Stingray touch pool! In this pool you’ll see three types of rays.

Southern Stingrays are the largest of the three, they are usually a dark grey or brown upper body with a white underbelly. Southern stingrays have large, round, flat bodies, causing them to resemble floating pancakes. These Stingrays can grow up to six feet wide as females and 2.5 feet wide as males. They are the same species that can be seen in our world-class shark tank.

The next species that you can expect to see is the Atlantic stingray. They are smallest Stingray of the bunch, only reaching nine -13 inches across on average. These little guys are a lighter brown and can be distinguished by the slight tapering near their head creating a spade-like shape.

Finally, you will meet our Cortez stingrays. They are slightly larger than the Atlantic stingray. While they can grow up to 1.37 feet they are most commonly under one foot in diameter. The Cortez stingray looks similar to the Southern Stingray in shape but they have a much shorter tail with a developed caudal fin (the fin at the end of the tail).

Next time you visit the Aquarium, see if you can pet all three species of Stingray!

Did you know you can feed our Stingrays? Check out our blog about it here, and get your tickets here!

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