Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stingrays..

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Us:  Excuse me, Mr Ray, do you have teeth?
Ray: Yes, I use them to eat my food.
Us: Oh, what food do you eat?
Ray: I like to eat other fish, you know, the ones that sit on the bottom and hide in the sand.
Us: Is that why you're always in the shallow waters at the beach?
Ray: Yes, and I like the warmth of that water too.
Us: Oh, but aren't you worried about people stepping on you?
Ray: Well, I suppose that does become an issue, from time to time, but often I swim away before people can step on me.
Us: What if they do step on you though?
Ray: Well, I've been known to "sting" them with my "stinger".
Us: Does that hurt you? You know, like it can hurt a bee to use his stinger?
Ray: No, it doesn't hurt me, at least not nearly as much as it would hurt you! When I sting someone, and I would only do it in dire circumstances, I leave part of my stinger in you. 
Us: Wow, does it ever grow back?
Ray: Yes, eventually. I can grow back my stinger much like you grow back a fingernail. 
Us: Do you break your tail when you sting someone?
Ray: No, believe it or not, my sting isn't located at the tip of my tail, but closer to the base of my tail. I thrash my tail around in order to sting someone.
Us: Do you only live in the ocean?
Ray: No, not at all. I have relatives who live in freshwater. They can be far bigger then myself!
Us: How big can you get?
Ray: Oh, we all vary in size, but some of us can be as big as a 6 feet from the tip of our nose to the tip of our tails.
Us: Wow, that is big! Do you live forever?
Ray: I'm afraid not, we have been known to live for up to 15 years in the wild. Of course we are all different though..
Us: How many sting rays are there?
Ray: Do you mean alive and well, or how many different kinds of us?
Us: Yes, different kinds of you!
Ray: Ahh, well there are at least 100 different species of ray fish. I am only one kind. However, we are under threat in our habitat, and some of us are all ready endangered!
Us: Oh, I didn't know. What about your babies, or is it eggs?
Ray: We actually give birth to live young, after they've hatched inside of us. 
Us: How many do you have at one time?
Ray: It can vary, as we are all different, but often we have 5-10 young rays at a time.
Us: You truly are one of God's unique and amazing creatures! 

Notes: The picture above is not "our" stingray. We haven't captured ours on "film" yet. The kids, however, had a grand time learning about stingray and drawing pictures for the nature notebooks. I may try to post a picture of it, but I'm not sure how well it will turn out. We used the simple paper here. The kids split the block in half, drew a picture of the stingray from the top and underside. They colored the pictures and dictated to me at least three facts we'd learned about stingrays. I wrote them down, dated it, and they slipped them in their notebooks.. 

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