Navigation Links
Tall tale of giant stingray circles the globe
Date:3/11/2009

RENO, Nev. If you couldn't believe your eyes when you saw the recent photo of a purported record-breaking 771-pound stingray, you may have been on to something.

"While the photo is genuine and there's no denying that this is a huge stingray, the stingray in the photo was never weighed," University of Nevada, Reno conservation biologist Zeb Hogan said. He is lead researcher for the "Megafishes Project," a joint venture with the National Geographic Society which aims to find, study, and protect the world's largest freshwater fish.

News of the catch spread quickly. However, contrary to initial media reports, it is unknown if this fish, which was tagged and released in central Thailand on January 28, 2009 as part of the National Geographic expedition, is truly the world's largest freshwater fish, he said. The fish, caught by volunteer angler Ian Welch from a small boat using a rod and reel, will be featured in an upcoming documentary airing on the National Geographic Channel.

"Surprisingly, we caught the stingray again four weeks later on Feb. 28," Hogan said. "It's still hasn't been weighed so it still isn't known if it's a record breaker. We estimated the weight based on previous catches and simple 'back-of-the-envelope' calculations."

Hogan, along with his team of researchers and anglers on site at the time of capture, approximate the fish's weight to be between 550-770 pounds. An even slightly larger fish than the one tagged would almost certainly be a world record freshwater fish, he said.

"In terms of disk width, this is the second largest stingray I've seen, the largest was in Cambodia in 2003," Hogan said. "This recent fish was very thick, so it may have weighed more."

The big winged fish was caught the second time about four kilometers from the original site by local anglers who work with his team. Researchers immediately released it. The find could mean that the ray population is smaller, or less migratory, than originally believed. The tagging, tracking and sometime recapturing are how biologists estimate abundance of fish populations, Hogan said. Biologists continue to track the big fish's movements using an array of underwater listening devices designed to detect tagged fish.

Hogan and his team have tagged 18 of this species of stingrays (Himantura chaophraya) as part of the recently established research project on the stingray in central Thailand for the University of Nevada, Reno, the Thai Department of Fisheries, the sport-fishing company Fishsiam and the National Geographic Society sponsored Megafishes Project. This species is listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

If he can get more funding for the project, Hogan hopes to eventually tag 40-50 stingrays for the research study, the first ever ecological study of the giant freshwater stingray which was discovered only 20 years ago. Freshwater giant stingrays are among the largest of the approximately 200 species of rays. They can be found in a handful of rivers in Southeast Asia and northern Australia.

"We aim to determine its conservation status, its abundance, its maximum size, whether or not it's a true freshwater species, whether or not regional populations interact and its migratory patterns and critical habitat," he said.

"It's clear that this species of giant freshwater stingray has the potential to be the largest freshwater fish in the world," Hogan said. The current record holder for world's largest freshwater fish is a 646-pound Mekong giant catfish caught by fishermen in northern Thailand in 2005.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mike Wolterbeek
awolterbeek@unr.edu
University of Nevada, Reno
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Doubling a gene in corn results in giant biomass
2. Discovery of giant roaming deep sea protist provides new perspective on animal evolution
3. Conservation International gets support from Dreamworks Animation to protect giant pandas
4. 1,000 tags reveal mysteries of giant bluefin tuna
5. Giant grass offers clues to growing corn in cooler climes, researchers report
6. New giant clam species offers window into human past
7. Old growth giants limited by water-pulling ability
8. GIANT-Coli: A novel method to quicken discovery of gene function
9. National Zoo giant panda pregnancy update
10. Giant ocean eddy shadows Sydney
11. Tiny buckyballs squeeze hydrogen like giant Jupiter
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Tall tale of giant stingray circles the globe
(Date:5/6/2017)... RAM Group , Singaporean based ... in biometric authentication based on a novel  ... to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based on ... Ram Group and its partners. This sensor will have ... and security. Ram Group is a next generation ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... The global military biometrics market ... by the presence of several large global players. The ... major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, M2SYS Technology, ... 61% of the global military biometric market in 2016. ... military biometrics market boast global presence, which has catapulted ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on ... ... is available in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s website ... SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... A ... pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer ... age to IVF success. , After comparing the results from the fresh and ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Poway, California (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... afternoon speaking at his local San Diego Rotary Club. The event ... San Diego, CA and had 300+ attendees. Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced today ... which its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents limb ... The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell resulted ... saved as compared to standard bone marrow stem ... resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... Phoenix, Arizona (PRWEB) , ... ... ... than 15 years’ experience providing advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy ... the in-house expertise in application consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range ...
Breaking Biology Technology: