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Special rays caught – and Elvis is back!

On Wednesday September 18th of this year, fishermen caught a subadult marbled electric ray with a length of 45 cm, an extraordinary guest in the Dutch waters. The most striking attribute of this ray is the fact that it can generate electricity with the two small kidney-shaped organs that consist of adapted muscle tissue: a biological battery! The electric ray can produce 70–80 volts of electricity. When hunting for small fish and shrimp, the ray uses pulses of 70 volts, but some rays can produce pulses of  200 volts! These strong pulses are generated when the ray feels threatened.
Read more at this species at: http://fishbase.org/summary/Torpedo-marmorata.html

 

Marbled electric ray, Torpedo marmorata, picture by Philippe Guillaume

Marbled stingrays can grow to 100 cm, but individuals longer than 80 cm are rarely observed. This species can be found on seagrass fields or rock bottoms, and bury themselves in the sand during daytime. These nocturnal predators mainly feed on small bottom-dwelling fish like gobies, but also on small crustaceans.

This electric ray was also a very special catch. But British fishermen had an even more astonishing find.

They caught a stingray with an extra fin on its back. It was brought to the Portsmouth Blue Reef Aquarium for identification and is now in quarantine. Aquarium staff assumed that the extra fin was a genetic heritage from its sharky ancestors, but it is probably just a bizarre mutation.

 The ray got the nickname ‘Elvis’, as the third fin looks like the tuft of the  famous rocker!

 

Elvis, the three-finned ray, picture by Natural History Museum

 

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