Over millions of years sharks and rays have evolved to become perfectly adapted to the ocean environment. However, some of the traits that have helped them become so successful have also made them vulnerable to human impacts.

Shovelnose Ray   © Sophia Volzke

The Giant Shovelnose Ray seems to be the visualisation of the fact that sharks and rays fall into the same class of species.

The main reason why these animals are deemed to be rays is because the gill slits are on the underside of the body’s flattened forepart.
Apart from that Shovelnose Rays differ from other rays as they reach a length of at least 2.7m and have a row of thorns down the middle of the back while they also swim with side-to-side movements like a shark.
They are also the only rays that can live and breed permanently in fresh water.

This individual has been found washed up on the beach after being stabbed into the upper left side of the body.

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