A Ray of Light

Posted by: Aamir

Sep 15th, 2006 • Category: Eye CandyTags: ,

Steve Irwin’s death has me disturbed ever since i heard about it. It was a tragic and a freak accident that has every one shocked and shaken. He was a person the world admired for his guts, courage and fearlessness. He lived the life he wanted, the way he wanted and pushed it to extreme boundaries that no ordinary human could even think of. He always lived life on the edge and enjoyed doing what he did.

The tragic accident resulting in his death was caused by a Stingray which is the most docile and timid of the sea creatures. What is ironic is that the Stingray is not on Steve Irwin’s list of the most dangerous creatures in the world. In the last one decade, it has been estimated that there have been less than 30 deaths caused by Stingrays worldwide and Steve Irwin’s is the thrid known death in Australia.

I’m sure you all know by now how he died from the Stingray barb, so i wont talk much about it. Besides his death, there was something else in the news that was bothering me for the last couple of days. I heard it on radio, saw it on tv and read it online yesterday. It is about people retaliating and attacking Stingrays probably in order to take revenge for his death. Here are the links
ABC News
MSNBC

I wanted to take this opportunity to share some information about Stingrays and let people know that Stingrays are harmless and very docile creatures.

Stingrays are beautiful and graceful swimmers, gliding like flying carpets over the ocean floor. These flattened-out fish are related to sharks. Stingrays come in two different general types – the Benthic (or bottom) stingrays and the Pelagic (or swimming) stingrays.

Benthic rays are often found buried in the sand sometimes leaving only their eyes and tail visible. They usually have a rounded or diamond-shaped body and their sting, when present, is located near the middle or lower third of their tail. As mostly bottom feeders, these rays generally feed on worms, clams, shrimp, crabs, snails and occasionally fish and their mouths contain powerful, shell-crushing teeth.

Stingrays have a distinctive, sleek tail with razor-sharp spines on it. Each spine has little barbs along the edges like thorns, which sting like a scorpion’s tail, to defend the stingray from predators. Stingrays are usually very docile creatures and do not attack aggressively or even actively defend themselves. When threatened, their primary reaction is to swim away and flee the vicinity of the disturbance. However, when they are attacked by predators or stepped on, the barbed stinger in their tail is mechanically whipped up and inflicts severe damage to the attacker.

Some adult rays may be no larger than a human palm, while other species, like the short-tail stingray, may have a body of six feet in diameter, and an overall length, including their tail, of fourteen feet.

Since their eyes are located on top of their body, stingrays cannot see their prey which is often under their body. Instead, they use the sense of smell and electro-receptors, similar to those of the shark. Their mouths are conveniently located on the bottom so when they find something to eat, they suck it up into their mouths. The underside of their body looks like they have a cute smile on their face. Notice the mouth below the nostrils. Not sure what the U shaped design is for.

This stingray is being fed crabs. As you can see, this is done on a daily basis; a diver gets into the big tank and feeds the rays and other fish.

Pelagic rays, like the spotted eagle ray shown below are more active swimmers that have a bat-like shape. Pelagic stingrays have stings that are located close to the body, just behind their pelvic fins. Like bottom rays, most pelagic rays also feed largely on bottom-dwelling organisms.

In huge aquariums and ocean centers, have you noticed the “Touch Pools” featuring stingrays you can touch?. I have touched them and they are very silky, soft and friendly.

My sincere request to that group of individuals is to stop attacking and killing the Stingrays. It is not going to get Steve back to us. Also, this is something Steve would have never wanted or appreciated. So let us respect Steve’s memory and leave these creatures alone. Rest in Peace Steve Irwin. You were our “Ray of Light” and we will miss you.

For the curious ones… These pictures were taken by me at the Maui Ocean Center in Hawaii.


    



Posted by: Aamir

Sep 15th, 2006 • Category: Eye CandyTags: ,
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  1. samuru999
    September 15th, 2006 at 12:49:

    1

    Ari
    Thank you for sharing those 2 links.I did not know about this.
    How very horrible and sad that people would be so cruel to attack stingrays in revenge for Steve’s death.
    I can just imagine how upsetting it would be to Steve to know this was happening.
    I hope this will not continue to
    go on.
    You said…
    stringrays are beautiful and graceful swimmers gliding like flying carpets over the ocean floor
    Yes, they are that!

    Thanks for these beautiful pictures Ari!
    and all the info.
    Take care!
    Have a nice weekend!
    -Margie

  2. dumbdodi
    September 15th, 2006 at 16:25:

    2

    Hi Ari
    I didn’t know it either.Its shocking and RIDICULOUS.
    And what great pics Ari. Reallt great. I am amused. I thought you had taken it off net (no offence but with sting rays being so much in news, I really did think it was off internet. You are just great

  3. Chad Oneil
    September 16th, 2006 at 01:02:

    3

    Great shots. I esepcially like the one that’s against the glass looking up, very cool. I also like the one with the diver.

    I was shocked with the rest of the world about Steve. It is very weird that this freak accident happened with a stingray. Definitely not the creature people would have thought would take his life.

    I agree, people shouldn’t retaliate against these animals.

    Thanks for the comments on my Blog by the way. I appreciate it.

  4. Kimberley
    September 16th, 2006 at 02:03:

    4

    Ahhh such vivid beauty on your blogg. Very impressive! The words you compose compare parallel with the shots you shoot. I will continue to stop by and admire your talent. BTW Thanks so very much for stopping by my spot and for the flattering comment. Stop by any time I would appreciate any constructive critism.

  5. Gangadhar
    September 16th, 2006 at 06:00:

    5

    Ari,
    me too dint know about that..it’s really shocking..
    And what an amazing pics,Ari..Splendid!!
    A great work indeed..You know one thing..i opened yours and Rauf’s blogs in diff windows..A real feast for my eyes..

  6. Rauf
    September 16th, 2006 at 09:18:

    6

    How stupid people can get, they are pretty harmless creatures.
    Beautiful pictures again Aamir.

  7. GuNs
    September 16th, 2006 at 09:24:

    7

    You had commented on my blog some time ago.
    http://peacewithguns.blogspot.com/2006/07/unbreakable-or-insensitive.html#comments

    Just came here to check out your blog and I absolutely LOVE the photos. Are you a professional photographer? And did you take the photos of the Sting rays yourself? If yes, you must also be a very good diver.

    Do check back on my blog when you get any time.

    -PeAcE
    –WiTh
    —GuNs

  8. danne
    September 16th, 2006 at 10:36:

    8

    Amazing photos.

    Pizzaparty at my place.
    Welcome.

  9. samuru999
    September 16th, 2006 at 15:08:

    9

    Hey Ari
    Or shall I call you Mr. ESP?
    Well, I do hope you might be having a fun time jet skiing!
    I am off to take the doggie for a walk…
    You will need to tell me where I go… Ok! Mr. ESP!

    C’ya later!

    Margie:)

  10. Blueberry_rumnraisins
    September 17th, 2006 at 09:47:

    10

    Hey great work ! I liked the content of your post! Lovely write up on Steve Irwin and Sting Rays

  11. Lord Boo
    September 17th, 2006 at 15:40:

    11

    lovely pics, bro; i recall seeing some at the London Aquarium. i know it would sound callous, but i don’t even know why there is so much fuss and media-hype about Irwin’s death. Ok, there are so many people out there dying too, and this one was killed by a creature, probably mistaken to be a predator. I wish the hype dies down. Doing no good to the world or stingrays. Great post again ! (P.S: i think i touched one of those at the museum. we were allowed to at an open pond. Not sure if they were sting rays or eels, but definitely looked like a sting ray)

  12. starry nights
    September 17th, 2006 at 18:52:

    12

    Thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures. thats really awful for people to take it out on these poor creatures.If they have any love or respect for steve they would not do something like this.because he loved animals and would never hurt one.

  13. Aamir
    September 17th, 2006 at 21:43:

    13

    Margie, Thanks for your thoughts. I know it is a horrible thing to do. I wish people stop killing these innocent creatures.

    Hope you are having a good weekend.
    -ari

  14. Jon Cox
    September 17th, 2006 at 21:49:

    14

    WOW!!!! Great information & awesome photos!! Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you’re haveing a GREAT weekend! :o )

  15. samuru999
    September 18th, 2006 at 00:01:

    15

    Ari
    I just wanted to tell you something that makes my heart so very glad.
    At the bike event Jeff was in this weekend, over $200.000 was raised for cancer.

    I had a couple of glasses of wine to celebrate last night after Jeff called to tell me… and, I swear I had a hangover this morning! Lol!
    Shows what a big drinker I am, huh?
    But, the doogie was there to let me know…no time to sit and dwell
    on a sore head… as I had to take him for a walk.
    I felt all better after a wonderful walk with him.
    Animals make us feel so good!

    And, my weekend has been fantastic!
    Just lots of time spent reading…
    listening to music…taking walks with the doggie… and just thinking happy thoughts!
    Sorry you did not get to jet ski.
    Maybe next weekend!
    I love to jet ski!
    Can I tag along!
    Bye Ari!
    Take care
    and have a wonderful evening!

    -Margie:-)

  16. Aamir
    September 17th, 2006 at 21:47:

    16

    Radhika, Yes, it is ridiculous.

    These pictures were taken during my trip to Hawaii. This is from the Maui Ocean center.

    If you see a copyright logo at the right-bottom of the pictures, it means those pictures are mine. If i use pictures from the internet, i make sure i give credit to the source.

  17. Keshi
    September 18th, 2006 at 06:56:

    17

    Ari while I mourn Steve’s death too (actually im still not over the shock), I detest ppl’s stupidity…ppl who go and kill these beautiful sea animal just cos Steve died from it. That’s a stupid thing to do. ppl should realise that animals r animals. If we go into their territory we have to take care but if some accident happened then it’s really not the animal’s fault.

    And if ur abt to read my latest post, na I aint advertising Ari lol! I swearrrrrrrrrrr :) :)

    Keshi.

  18. Reeholio
    September 18th, 2006 at 08:09:

    18

    Wow, amazing photos Ari. I especially like the last one with the light beaming through the photo. Supurb!

    Thanks also for stopping by and commenting at Portfolio Reeholio.

    Regards, Rhys

  19. Suji
    September 18th, 2006 at 10:02:

    19

    AMAZING pics as usual. They r really such beautiful n elegant creatures. Its sad about Steve but even sadder that some ppl are using Steve as an excuse to kill these beutiful creatures.

  20. Aamir
    September 18th, 2006 at 17:46:

    20

    There you are keshi. I hope the flashing cameras did not blind you :) You look different in each picture. I will comment on your blog :)

  21. Aamir
    September 18th, 2006 at 17:48:

    21

    Suji, yeah it is sad. I hope they have stopped doing it because i dont hear much about it in the news now.

  22. priya
    September 19th, 2006 at 00:10:

    22

    Thanks ari!!!

    A good one and amazing pictures. No one has the right to take someones lives.

  23. samuru999
    September 19th, 2006 at 01:47:

    23

    Thanks Ari!
    I was pretty proud of Jeff!
    There were about a thousand riders in the event!
    All the money raised goes toward cancer… so, it is a great cause!
    I think I am going to ride in it next year… I have to do a lot of training to get ready for it though.

    No doggies drinking and driving here… he actually went home today, and I miss him a lot!
    I still have my cat to keep me company though!

    So, about the jet-skiing…
    I’ll meet you at the lake
    at half-past eight!Lol!
    I am always rhyming… sorry!

    Well, take care Ari!
    Have a nice evening!
    Hugs n smiles…
    Margie :-)

  24. Ash
    September 19th, 2006 at 02:09:

    24

    People attacking stingrays as a revenge…how ridiculous can things get ??

  25. Robyn
    September 19th, 2006 at 03:37:

    25

    Ari,

    I must be out of the loop because I had no idea people were retaliating against stingrays. That’s just absurd!

    Amazing pictures as always and thanks for the info, very interesting!

    Robyn

  26. Aamir
    September 20th, 2006 at 03:38:

    26

    Margie, I’m proud of you both. Such a noble cause.
    Good luck for next year.
    Dont worry, your doggie will visit you soon. :)
    take care

  27. Aamir
    September 20th, 2006 at 03:39:

    27

    Yes ash, it sounded ridiculous when i first heard about it

  28. Corinne
    October 3rd, 2006 at 06:54:

    28

    Now I’m really jealous! I got to swim with them in Tahiti but they didn’t pose for me like they did for you!

  29. Patty
    October 8th, 2006 at 20:25:

    29

    Ari, even if stingrays killed my entire family, I could never do any harm to them. It’s not their fault. I cannot imagine doing any harm to any creature, except for mosquitoes and small spiders. I have a hard time even killing ants or bigger spiders. I usually end up gently putting them in a tissue and taking them outside or vacuuming them up or getting my other family members to squish them. I HATE animal cruelty! People who do it should be seriously punished.

    I didn’t even know people were being so stupid as to hurt these poor creatures! Very sad, but valuable post and wonderful photos of these beautiful rays!




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