Most stingrays sport one or more barbed stings on their tail, which are modified forms of dermal denticles. The stinger itself can grow to over 35 centimetres (13.8 inches) and is supplied with venom by a number of glands positioned on its underside. The venom is concentrated over the stinger in a thin layer of skin.
Stingrays are flat-bodied rays most well-known for the sharp spines located in their tails. There are two main families of stingray: dasyatidae and urolophidae, each of which includes a wide range of the disc- shaped fish. Their size varies from around 25 centimetres (9.8 inches) in width – such as the dasyatis sabina species – through to over two metres (6.6 feet), as demonstrated by the Australian dasyatis brevicaudata. Stingrays inhabit the majority of Earth’s oceans, from the North Atlantic through to the South Pacific.
Stingrays are bottom-dwellers, operating in the main close to the seabed. In fact they regularly camouflage themselves from predators by lying dormant on the seabed partially covered in sand and silt. This can make them particularly difficult to spot, especially for humans, and due to some species sporting spiny venomous tails, they can prove dangerous if accidentally provoked. Their diet mainly consists of sea worms and other small invertebrates, which they consume with their bottom-mounted mouth.