Q: What are stingrays related to?
SW: Stingrays are related to electric rays, skates, guitarfish, sawfish and sharks. These fantastic fish species have a skeleton of soft cartilage instead of hard bone (you have cartilage in your nose, by the way, but the rest of your skeleton is made up of hard bones).
Q: How do they reproduce?
SW: Many of the rays at SeaWorld were born at the parks. Rays give live birth to their young. Their close cousins, the skates, look very similar to rays but they lay eggs instead.
Q: What do they eat?
SW: Rays primarily feed on things with hard shells on their bodies (like crabs, shrimps and urchins) plus worms and occasionally small fish. Like a nutcracker, rays usually crush their prey between their blunt, flat teeth.
Q: How big do they get?
SW: Some species are only about the size of a dinner plate, but others can get much larger. If you include its tail, a spotted eagle ray can reach a whopping weight of about 500 lb. (230 kg) and a length up to 8 ft. (2.4 m ). But that's nothing compared to the grand-daddy of all them all — the manta ray. Manta rays can have a wingspan of up to 25 ft. (7.5 m) and weigh up to 3,000 lb. (1,360 kg)!
Q: Are they endangered?
SW: No one really knows — it's impossible to count how many rays are in the ocean to understand if their populations are going up or down. They do face many threats, including pollution, habitat destruction and overfishing of them and the foods they like to eat.