Maldives is popular for its gorgeous white sand beaches, tropical climate and crystal clear turquoise water that draws tourist from around the world. Besides the picturesque views, the marine life is one of the most impressive things to see while in Maldives.
Maldives Stingrays Feeding
The water is home to at least two thousand different species of marine life. The ocean boasts a variety of rays. Manta ray, eagle ray and stingrays often gather in large groups and can often be seen near the surface of the water.
We had heard about Stingrays – their unique structure, their feeding habits and some strange stories associated with them like how dangerous they might be. All of this made us curious to have an up close look at them. Recently, we got lucky enough to get an opportunity to watch a bunch of super adorable Stingrays being fed along the shore at Sun Island Resort in Maldives.
Watch Stingrays Feeding VIDEO
Stingrays Feeding in Maldives
Stingrays often come up to the shores. Most of the resorts in Maldives organize stingray feeding experience for the guests that might take place in the early morning hours or in the evenings.
Maldives Stingrays Feeding activity
The resort staff begins preparations at least half-an-hour before the feeding time. They usually set up a barricade along the shore line to maintain a safe distance from the rays. The guests are expected to line up behind the barricade to get the view of these incredibly beautiful species being fed with fishes.
Stingrays Feeding Time
The stingrays are very punctual. Our level of excitement increased the moment we saw a unique pattern of wave rushing towards us and Boom!!! we got our first glimpse at Stingrays.
Stingray First Impression
Cute & adorable!
A bunch of stingrays soon gathered along the shore line and the staff started feeding them with fishes. The stingrays are curious and playful creatures. It was fun watching them run after the guys who were there to feed them.
Stingrays Feeding at Maldives
These gentle creatures are known for their unique looks – they have disc-shaped bodies with eyes on top of their heads and flattened dorsal fins. They have no bones and their skeleton is made up of flexible cartilage.
Stingrays Swimming Pattern
Stingrays have unique swimming pattern. While some stingrays glide gracefully through the ocean by undulating their bodies in a wave-like motion. Others will flap their dorsal fins up and down, giving them the appearance of “flying” through the ocean like a bird.
Stingrays swimming pattern
Stingray Skin Colors
Their flattened bodies and mottled skin, ranging from a light sandy tone to a dark brown allow them to blend in easily with its surroundings. They settle on the seafloor while feeding, often leaving only their eyes and tails visible.
Stingrays on ocean bed
Stingray Respiratory & Feeding Pattern
While the stingray’s eyes peer out from its dorsal side, its mouth, nostrils, and gill slits are situated on its underbelly. The eyes allows them to see prey moving above them while they are hiding in the sand and their mouth located on their underside allows them to feed on creatures that live on the ocean floor.
Stingray anatomy under belly – mouth – gills – nostril
Stingrays have a unique breathing pattern as well – They have spiracles which are openings for gas exchange right behind their eyes and gills on their flat underside. Instead of sucking sandy water in through their gills, they can pull clear water in through the spiracles and then force it out through the gills. This arrangement also allows the stingray to breathe while covered in sand and frees the stingray’s mouth (located on its underbelly) to feed on the prey.
Stingray Defense Mechanism
Stingrays get their name from the stinging spines or barb located on their incredibly long tail, which are filled with deadly venom. The barb is mostly used as a defense mechanism. The tail of a stingray may be as much as 2-3 times as long as its body.
Stingray Defense Mechanism Tail
Are Stingrays Dangerous ?
The adorable stingray is misunderstood by many. Stingrays are not aggressive. In fact, they are curious and playful creatures. If they feel threatened their first instinct is to swim away.
Precautions to be Taken
Always respect stingrays’ personal space – enjoy watching them gliding through the water and never threaten them. Always keep an eye out for their tail – and never – never touch the barb on the end of it.
Stingrays precautions to be take to avoid danger
The feeding continued for half-an-hour after which these lovely creatures made their way back to the ocean floor. Stingrays are one of the most amazing and adorable creatures and it was fun watching them. Hope you enjoyed reading this post and found it useful. Stay tuned for more Maldives posts/articles.
Stingrays feeding Sun Island and Resort Maldives