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Smooth stingrays have a sharp, finely serrated barb at the end of their tail. They don’t attack with their ‘sting’, but if provoked will use their barb out of defence. To do this, they raise their tail up like a scorpion. Stings are painful, but usually not fatal

Sharks and stingrays are closely related as they have a skeleton made of cartilage. This is what you have in your nose and your ears. It is much lighter and more flexible than bone. Stingrays are different to sharks as they have a flat body, large side fins that are connected all the way along their body and gills underneath. The smooth stingray is the largest stingray in the world. It grows to over 4.3 m in length, 2m wide and weights over 350 kg!

Smooth stingrays have flat grinding teeth, which they use to crush their food. Having their mouth underneath their body makes them perfectly suited to gathering food from the sea floor.

To move through the water smooth stingrays, move their fins in a wave – like motion and can swim backwards

Smooth stingrays spend most of their time near the sea floor and will hide buried underneath the sand. Shuffling your feet as you wade in the water will give any stingrays hidden nearby, enought warning to swim away. Well known places to see a smooth stingray are Thompsons Bay (Rottnest Island) and Hamelin Bay (just north of Augusta)

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