Jun 02 2007

A baby stingray with legs? What the …

Published by at 9:21 am under nature,science

Well, this doesn’t rate a Friday cephalopod status, like those from one of my favorite science blogs, Pharyngula, but this photo of a baby stingray from Cute Overload was just awesome.

babystingray.jpg
(Courtesy of CuteOverload.com/Megan F. – U.K.)

The most fascinating thing about this shot I’d like to point out is the legs. But stingrays don’t have legs, you say? Well, you’re right. But just like human embryos have tails, I’m thinking that the same developmental process happens for stingrays.

This leads me to be believe that millions and millions of years ago, the stingray ancestor might have been a land-dweller, hence the limbs you see here in the developmental process.

The other odd things about this photo is that it looks like the eyes and the mouth are on the same side. But we all know that stingray has its eyes on the top of its body and the mouth is on the underside.

Anyone with any answer to these mysteries, please comment.

One response so far

One Response to “A baby stingray with legs? What the …”

  1. Michael Grofe says:

    Hi, Paul,

    It would be fascinating if stingrays once walked on land! But I’m afraid this isn’t the case with any of the sharks or rays, while it certainly is the case for our lobe-finned fish relatives.

    What look like cute little feet here are actually called claspers, which are two modified fins that function like penises on rays and sharks to transfer sperm from the male to the female.

    http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/education/questions/RayBiology.html#states

    Best,
    Michael

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