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Hear the first sound of a stingray ever recorded

Sting rays, or even sharks, are not heard to produce sounds, but a video suggests the sounds are ignored as the animals make a loud clicking sound.  Pictured is a snapshot of rays that were captured on video
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The short, loud clicking sound made by a stingray as it swims past a reef IndonesiaIts gill islands are the first documented example of an animal making sounds.

A team of Swedish and Australian researchers have seen a mangrove whipprey ‘talk’ as it moves its breathing holes near its eyes, known as spiracles, in a video.

Sting rays, or even sharks, are not heard to produce sounds, but watching the rays move away from the camera suggests that the clicking may be a sign of distress or a defense mechanism.

The team, however, is not entirely sure how the sting ray makes its sound, but they suggest that it may be by constricting the spiracles and opening its gills at the same time.

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Sting rays, or even sharks, are not heard to produce sounds, but a video suggests the sounds are ignored as the animals make a loud clicking sound.  Pictured is a snapshot of rays that were captured on video

Sting rays, or even sharks, are not heard to produce sounds, but a video suggests the sounds are ignored as the animals make a loud clicking sound. Pictured is a snapshot of rays that were captured on video

“Whether the sound is produced by rapid drainage of water or another internal mechanism is plausible remains to be seen, and further research into the internal morphology of these rays is needed,” says the study, published in the journal Ecology.

The path to this historic discovery began in 2018 when marine scientist Jonny Pinney-Fitzsimmons, who is leading the work, received a video of the mangrove.

Without thinking too much of it, they put it on the backburner for another time.

However, it wasn’t until they heard the same loud click from another mangrove in a clip shared on Instagram that the team decided to do some digging.

The team, however, is not entirely sure how the sting ray makes its sound, but they suggest that it may be by constricting the spiracles and opening its gills at the same time.

The team, however, is not entirely sure how the sting ray makes its sound, but they suggest that it may be by constricting the spiracles and opening its gills at the same time.

Pinney-Fitzsimmons and her colleagues sifted through the trove of sting ray data to find something akin to noise.

‘To our knowledge, this is not something that has been recorded or published before,’ said Pinney-Fitzsimmons. ‘I’m not quite sure why that would be.’

Pinney-Fitzsimmons theorizes that people previously heard sounds while snorkeling, but because the equipment made its own noise, the clicking was ignored.

‘Other similar species may also produce sounds but anecdotal records have yet to come to light; Our paper can thus serve as a catalyst for further examples from the public and researchers,’ reads the study.

Stingrays are found around the world and come in many sizes, with one caught in Cambodia believed to be the world’s largest freshwater fish.

In June, a fisherman hooked a giant stingray weighing 661 pounds and measuring 13-feet long, breaking the previous record for a catfish discovered in Thailand in 2005, which weighed 646 pounds.

Stingrays are found around the world and come in many sizes, with one caught in Cambodia believed to be the world's largest freshwater fish.  In June, a fisherman hooked a giant stingray that weighed 661 pounds and was 13-feet long.

Stingrays are found around the world and come in many sizes, with one caught in Cambodia believed to be the world’s largest freshwater fish. In June, a fisherman hooked a giant stingray that weighed 661 pounds and was 13-feet long.

The stingray, nicknamed ‘Borami’ or ‘Poornima’ in Khmer, was poached in the Mekong River which is famous for hosting a variety of large fish species.

A team of scientists from the Wonders of the Mekong research project helped tag, measure and weigh the ray before it was released into the river.

Mekong leader Jeb Hogan’s surprise told AFP: ‘Big fish are globally endangered. They are high value species. They take a long time to mature. So if fish are caught before they mature, they don’t have a chance to reproduce.

‘Many of these large fish are migratory, so they need large areas to survive. They are affected by things like habitat fragmentation from dams, obviously overfishing.

‘So about 70 percent of the world’s giant freshwater fish and all Mekong species are threatened with extinction.’

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