Chelem, Yucatan — SSP firefighters rescued a three-meter-long eagle ray, which was trapped in a fishing net.
Fortunately, the impressive specimen returned healthy to the Gulf.
Eagle rays are often mistakenly called stingrays, but that’s a misnomer. Rays lack a sting on their tail.
The docile eagle ray is commonly seen cruising along sandy beaches in very shallow waters, like Chelem’s. Its two wings often give the false impression of two sharks traveling together.
A distant cousin of the shark, stingrays and other rays like skates, electric rays, guitarfishes and sawfishes are classified as Batoidea, a type of cartilaginous fish and have around 500 described species in thirteen families.
They are found in seas on the floor, across the world in both temperate and cold waters.
Eagle rays unlike stingrays tend to live in the open ocean rather than on the bottom of the sea. Compared with other rays, their tails are quite long and they are a well-defined rhomboidal shape featuring distinct wings.
The Southern eagle ray is a rather common species, often caught by fisheries, sometimes intentionally but often as a bycatch.
Sources: Por Esto, Wikipedia