Time and Tide Bell ~ #200Fish

A Continuing Arts Programme facing Lincolnshire's Coast

#200Fish is a community project to create works of art based on each of the species of fish found in the North Sea

To learn more and find out how to join the project click here.

Fish #37 Common Stingray Dasyatis pastinaca ~ Bryony Dickins

Acrylic on paper 21 x 30 cm

Common Stingray

The Common Stingray (Dasyatis pastinaca) is found in the north-east of the Atlantic and in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea. It lives in coastal waters preying on crustaceans, molluscs and small bottom dwelling fish. It is more active at night, often burying itself in sediment during the day. They are caught as a by-catch by trawlers, but although their livers are used for liver oil, and the livers can be considered a delicacy, their flesh is of limited value.
They typically measure about 45cm across with a whip-like tail 35cm long, although significantly larger specimens have been recorded. The serrated stinging spine is part way along the length of the tail which has a gland of venom. The spine is shed and replaced periodically. Females bear 4-9 young twice per year. The embryos feed on the yolk and as they develop their mother provides histotroph ('uterine milk'). The 'pups' measure about 8cm across when they are born and can live into their twenties.

I chose one of the many species of stingray because we were married on the 3rd September 2006 and I later found out that Steve Irwin had been killed the following day by a stingray. The transition from delight to tragedy is always a reminder that nature can confound us however much we believe we understand it.

The stingray plays and preys
in the sand fanned wonderland
Ride the tide to glide,
wander yonder and ponder
Explore the seaweed to feed
and sweep along in the deep
Swim and skim
into the starless darkness.

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Lincolnshire Time and Tide Bell Community Interest Company is a not-for profit organisation, registered at Companies House. Company Number 10934941