Smooth-surfaced rays can be found along tropical and subtropical coasts all around the world, with an approximate 220 different species residing in those waters.
These bottom-dwelling sea creatures are a distant relative to sharks, with gills placed on either side of their head similar to their cousins. Rather than possessing sharp teeth, stingrays rely on their barbed tails as a form of self-defense.
With so many sharks and rays disappearing due to overfishing, The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium provides a loving home for many of these creatures, including the cownose rays and southern stingrays. The Zoo also works alongside the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Shark Specialist Group and provides assistance in the research of scalloped hammerhead sharks in Costa Rica.