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Giant River Stingrays in Thailand!

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posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 12:59 PM
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Stingrays are pretty common throughout the world, but I had no idea how big these things could get!

Scouring Thailand Rivers for Giant Stingrays


Rushing across a temple parking lot, British angler Rick Humphreys yells, "We've got a fish."

He jumps into a small motorboat on the Mae Klong River in time to see Wirat Moungnum bring the prize to the surface: a rare giant freshwater stingray that weighs as much as 44 pounds.

*****SKIP*****

"It's a start," Humphreys says almost apologetically. The specimen is a tenth the size of the largest rays. "There are a lot bigger ones than that."







Humphreys and his partner, Wuttichai Khuensuwan, have caught 40 rays on the Bang Pakong and Mae Klong Rivers, with the largest weighing in at 485 pounds.

*****SKIP*****

The next day, they have better luck on the Mae Klong.

The rod bends almost into the water, and Wirat struggles for almost half an hour as the ray dives under the boat and across the bow.

It finally is brought to the surface, revealing its big bulging eyes and dark, coarse skin. Its tail alone is 12 feet long.





I had no idea stingrays got this big! Manta/Devil Rays and some other types, but not Stingrays!



Hogan, 34, has heard the stories of Cambodian fishermen catching rays that weighed more than 1,100 pounds with wingspans of 14 feet. But so far they are just stories. If he can confirm them, his find could eclipse the world record now held by the Mekong giant catfish: a 646-pound specimen caught in 2005 in Thailand.

"It could be the largest fish in the world and we know next to nothing about it," Hogan says. "I've spent five years on the Mekong looking for rays and only saw two or three. They were nowhere near the size I'd heard about."


(by largest fish in the world, they mean freshwater fish)

These rays are truly giants, monsters if you were in the water with them! It remains to be documented yet if they actually get up to 1,100 lbs., but they may never get the chance to document one that big, this is one of the "vulnerable species" in the river due to pollution.



Hogan said he was drawn to the freshwater ray, known scientifically as Himantura chaophraya, because so little is known about it.

Listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, it is believed to be found in rivers from Thailand to northern Australia. Scientists discovered it only 18 years ago, and its population is unknown.



[edit on 7/20/2008 by Keyhole]




posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 01:21 PM
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Wow!! that is amazingly big indeed, neither did I know this species exist.

if Steve Irwin would have wrestled one of those monsters his death would have made a bit more sense perhaps.

very nice find, gonna read the link now.

Thanks, S&F



posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 01:30 PM
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Fantastic find. I have been asking around Thailand about these huge rays for 10 years. They apparently occasionally breach thru the muddy waters in downtown Bangkok leading to all sorts of myths, especially related to the hindu or buddhist naga serpent. Since I have never met a local here who knew much about of these huge rays, I assume when the are seen they may take on a crypto type legend. There was some photos on Nat Geo (i think) a few months back. The river is filthy as it flows thru central Bangkok, although it is teeming with large cat fish, giant monitor lizards and pythons. Amazing catch. I have been watching the murky depths whenever I am on the Chao Praya, hoping to get a glimpse of one od these remarkable and mysterious giant rays.
Thanks Keyhole.



posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 03:28 PM
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Here's another picture and some more info from "The National Geographic" website.

Photo Gallery: Bear-Size Catfish, Half-Ton Stingrays Among World's ''Monster'' Fishes



Name: Giant freshwater stingray (Himantura chaophraya)

Maximum Size: 197 inches (500 centimeters), 1,323 pounds (600 kilograms), body diameter 95 inches (240 centimeters)

Habitat: Mekong River Basin, Southeast Asia

Endangered Status on IUCN Red List (2006): Vulnerable

Population Size: Unknown

Major Threats: Overfishing and pollution



When I came across this picture, I couldn't help but notice that the rays body outline, without its "wings", kind of resembled a big headed lizards body, almost looks like you could see where it's back feet were.

Now, I'm not trying to say these rays ancestors were lizards, was just noticing the resemblance in the body structure.

Thai Freshwater Stingray (Himantura chaophraya)


Here's some more links for you reading and viewing pleasure:

Giant Freshwater Stingray Caught in Thailand
The rare freshwater Giant Stingray in the ...
Scientist plies Asia seeking freshwater stingray
FEATURE: WHAT A LOAD OF CARP! The worlds Mega Fish, which is the largest?

[edit on 7/20/2008 by Keyhole]



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 03:36 AM
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If something that big was hiding in rivers and only discovered 18years ago, who knows what else is lurking out there?



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:03 AM
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It remains to be documented yet if they actually get up to 1,100 lbs


*Bump*


Ok not quite 1,100 but this one was just caught and it broke the world fresh water record... nearly 800 lbs.

Giant Stingray Caught



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:39 AM
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It is unknown how rare they are as their preferred habitat is muddy rivers so they are not seen often. Unfortunately a few that have made the press seem to be caught by fishing tour companies aimed at foreigners, and I am not sure thet are catch and release. Manta rays are bigger but are oceanic.



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 12:07 PM
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buzz.yahoo.com...

771 lbs...awesome



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 02:11 PM
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Originally posted by Grey Magic
Wow!! that is amazingly big indeed, neither did I know this species exist.

if Steve Irwin would have wrestled one of those monsters his death would have made a bit more sense perhaps.

very nice find, gonna read the link now.

Thanks, S&F


He did. And lost lol.



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 02:20 PM
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These giant stingray's are fascinating creatures, beautiful, yet dangerous if you don't give them the space the need to not feel threatened by our presence.



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 05:58 PM
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Call me weird but this is a very elegant and beautiful creature. Are those ones in the pics dead, because if they are it's a sad shame.

Great find though



posted on Mar, 15 2009 @ 07:58 AM
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Fishsiam Ltd in Thailand has now caught 78 different giant freshwater stingrays in a short fifteen month period.
All fish have been released unharmed after scientific examination.

www.fishsiam.com...



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:15 AM
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wow, that's really cool. what do they use their stingers for when they're that big, anyway? crocodiles?



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