Southern Stingray Spiracles

Here are a few pictures of a Southern Stingray (Dasyatis americana) feeding. The openings behind their eyes are not the gills. Their gills are located on the bottom (ventral) side, of their bodies. These upper openings are called spiracles. They use these almost like a mouth, taking in water that passes to their gill chambers. They are also used to expel the unwanted parts of their crushed prey. As you can see in the photos, the spiracle is first closed, then open to inhale then exhaling with shell debris. It's these cast off particles that the Bar Jack (Caranx ruber) is waiting for, hoping to find bits of edible matter within the debris.

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