The Giant Freshwater Stingray

Posted in Wildlife A-Z | August 17, 2010 | Comment Now

Did you know that, scientifically speaking, fish species possess what is called ‘indeterminate growth’? This would mean that they’re capable of growing as long as they continue getting food and habitat. Given the fact that they’re free from disease, they continue to grow and grow some more.

This logic, and the richness of food that these fishes have been privy to based on the regions that they live in, have given rise to a number of super-sized species of fish across the world. Most of these giants will be found in tributaries of rivers that have been isolated. These end up providing for a steady amplification of the size of fishes.

According to statistics, if a fish has to be called a giant fish, it must quantify these two provisions – it should be a minimum of around 2 meters in length; and it must weigh a minimum of 100 kg.

The Mekong River of the Vietnam region, which disperses into the Southern China sea, is home to some such giant species. The giant freshwater stingrays of this region have been known to grow up to what can be termed as half the size of a bus. These fishes may well be the largest freshwater fish swimming the waters of the world today.

Most of these giants are seen to emerge from the deepest waters and end up traversing around the region. They will, in most cases, end up migrating to other regions when it is time for spawning. According to scientists, around one-fourth of the world’s giant fish species can be found in the Mekong.  This would make it the world’s most populated river in terms of giant fish species.

The Giant Stingray

Giant stingrays, have, for long been successful in terrifying people out of their wits. There is something about these bed-sheet shaped venomous creatures that make their mere sighting unnerving.

Giant stingrays are, then, like a giant-sized version of these nightmarish creatures. We’re talking about a 16 foot long bed-sheet; which has been equipped with a 15 inch long poison spike (serrated) on its posterior end.

Just in case you didn’t know, things get prettier. These not-so-little spikes or stings are known to be capable of impaling a person’s body parts. In worse scenarios, they could also skewer them completely; and the worst has to be that they can also penetrate bone. (Mekong River is one place I am definitely never swimming in. Brrr!!!)

The giant stingray has been around ever since the Jurassic era. And you thought we needed a crew of specialized special effects experts to come up with a movie like that!

Sweet Mother of Lord! Where do these live?

Well, we know Mekong River for one. Other than that, these fishes are known to inhabit parts of New Guinea, Thailand, Borneo and surprisingly, even Australia (Yes! You heard me right!).

Most of these will choose to live in rivers that are generally uniformly murky. The reason – it lets them be invisible by camouflaging them! Jeez! Like we needed that!

Imagine it – 770 pounds of pure terror.

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