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Tiny southern stingray baby born at aquarium
10:04am Monday 5th May 2014 in News
A tiny southern stingray baby is doing well after being born at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium.
The baby, which was only about the size of a saucer at birth, is being looked after in the aquarium’s quarantine area before going on display in a special nursery unit.
The male has been nicknamed ‘Angel of the North Bright Star’ by keepers and they’re confident more babies will be born soon.
Blue Reef Aquarium Head Aquarist, Laura Mingay, said: “The baby stingray is doing well and we are hoping for more youngsters to be born over the coming days.
“If you look closely you can actually see the unborn babies wriggling about inside their mother,” she added.
Southern stingrays have a gestation period of about six months. The eggs hatch within the mother’s body and the pups are born folded up like a newspaper.
In the wild they must immediately fend for themselves and it is believed their tail stings are fully functional from the moment they emerge from their mothers.
Related to sharks, stingrays get their name from the razor-sharp barb on their tails which the animal uses to defend itself when threatened.
Fully grown females can reach lengths of up to two metres and the heaviest recorded specimen weighed more than 135 kgs.
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