Short, loud clicking sounds emitted by a stingray as it swam through a reef off the coast of Indonesia’s Gill Islands is the first instance documenting the creature making sounds.
A team of Swedish and Australian researchers watched video as a mangrove whipray “talking” while moving breathing holes near its eyes, known as spiracles.
The sound of stingrays and even sharks is unknown, but watching the beam move away from the camera suggests the clicking could be a sign of stress or a defense mechanism
However, the team isn’t exactly sure how the stingray makes the sound, but they suggest it could be caused by the spiracles contracting and its gills opening at the same time.
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The sounds of stingrays and even sharks can’t be heard, but video suggests the sounds were simply missed because the creatures make a loud clicking noise. Pictured is a snapshot of the beam captured in the video
“Whether the sound production is achieved by rapid ejection of water or some other internal mechanism is plausible but remains to be seen, and further research on the internal morphology of these jets is needed,” read the study, published in the journal Ecology.
The journey to this historic discovery began in 2018 when marine scientist Joni Pini-Fitzsimmons, who is leading the work, received video of the mangrove.
They didn’t think about it too much and put it on the back burner for another time.
But it wasn’t until they heard the same loud click from another mangrove in a clip shared on Instagram that the team decided to do some digging.
However, the team isn’t exactly sure how the stingray makes the sound, but they suggest it could be caused by the spiracles contracting and its gills opening at the same time
Pini-Fitzsimmons and her colleagues scoured troves of stingray data to find anything resembling the sounds.
“To our knowledge, it has never been recorded or published before,” said Pini-Fitzsimmons. “I’m not exactly sure why that is.”
Pini-Fitzsimmons suspects that people have previously heard the sound while snorkeling, but due to the equipment’s own sounds, the click was missed.
“Other similar species may also make sounds, but anecdotal records may not have come to light; Therefore, our paper can serve to shed more examples from the public and researchers,” the study said.
Stingrays can be found all over the world and come in a variety of sizes, with one being caught in Cambodia which is believed to be the world’s largest freshwater fish.
In June, a fisherman hooked a massive stingray weighing 661 pounds and measuring 13 feet long, breaking the previous record for a catfish spotted in Thailand in 2005, which reached 646 pounds.
Stingrays can be found all over the world and come in a variety of sizes, with one being caught in Cambodia which is believed to be the world’s largest freshwater fish. In June, a fisherman hooked a massive stingray that weighs 661 pounds and measures 13 feet long
Called “Boramy” or “full moon” in the Khmer language, the stingray was caught in the Mekong River, which is famous for harboring various species of large fish.
A team of scientists from the Wonders of Mekong research project helped tag, measure and weigh the ray before releasing it back into the river.
Miracles of Mekong leader Zeb Hogan told AFP: “Big fish are at risk worldwide. They are high quality species. They take a long time to mature. So if they are caught before they are fully grown, they have no chance to reproduce.
“A lot of these big fish are migratory fish, so they need large areas to survive. They are affected by things like habitat fragmentation from dams, which are obviously affected by overfishing.
“For example, about 70 percent of the world’s giant freshwater fish are threatened with extinction, and all Mekong species.”