Survival of the Stingray Imagine yourself 150,000 years in the future. Another ice age is in full force. Temperatures are much colder, vegetation has ceased to exist, along with several entire animal species. The lion, once the king of the jungle, is no more than an alley cat scavenging for food. The great white shark- reduced to the size of goldfish.
A new predator is on the prowl. The stingray, once limited to shallow, sandy beaches, has evolved! With it’s new adaptations the power of the stingray is unfurled, free to roam in the wide expanse of sea, air, and land. Many advantages have evolved in the once conservative stingray. From the large size of the present day animal, the stingray has been reduced in size and weight from an average of 12 feet, 60 pounds to 3 feet, 15 pounds to provide from speed, stealth, and agility. The broad flattened pectoral fins have grown a protective hard scale resistant to the hardest of an enemy’s teeth, along with the secretion of a special enzyme that causes pain and damage along with a bitter taste to avoid being eaten. It’s powerful tail has been lengthened to provide offensive coverage in a 360 degree area. Along with the sharp, barbed spines and deadly poisonous glands, the stingray is now an formidable opponent. With the decrease in food supply, the stingray has adapted with his environment.
Formerly a sole marine animal, a stingray’s diet has now included the usual fish and crustaceans to birds and small rodents. To achieve this new source of food, the stingray now has the capability to move on land in the form of a speedy slithering such as a snake might move. A set of lungs accompany this adaptation enabling the stingray to breathe on land as well as water. In addition to land and sea, if a stingray should swim swiftly to the surface and break out high above, his new capability to glide would take effect. With a limit of a few minutes the stingray cannot sustain continued flight. He would be able to act as a scavenger stealing away kills from other predators and returning to the murky depths. The bland coloring of his skin enables him to hide from the predators as his skin reflects off the colors surrounding his environment.
In a land surrounded by ice and water, a hard nose tooth, similar to a tusk, has grown to allow the stingray to break into crevices where urchins and such may be hiding. This also enables him to use the tooth as a weapon against invaders. In the harsh conditions of this new ice age, the stingray has evolved a number of advantages that should ensure their life span of their species well into the future.