Going to sound rather strange, had a few dreams last night, one involved reading through an article on Stingrays having a lower than could be explained rate of attack, when including both feeding and defensive evolutionary reasons.
The feeling from the dream implied this to be a rarity for a complex organism and I was curious as to the merits of it.
If creating a game theory model of a stingray and it’s likely attack rate percentile, it would be incorrect based on the current understanding we have.
To increase the crazy, what are your thoughts on stingrays consciously choosing/preferring a pacifist-esqe(For lack of better term) evolutionary path?
My local marine science center has a petting tank of stingrays, and some of them seem to actively enjoy being petted. The sample size is too small for the results to be statistically significant, but my conclusion based on this observation is that stingrays are the cats of the sea.
Stingrays are pacifists. They would rather do almost anything than sting you. Attacks are actually relatively rare (but often sensationalised). There’s a bay in northern NSW where the seabed swarms with stingrays. I’ve snorkelled there a few times, and never felt remotely concerned for my safety.
Also, interesting fact… If you flip a ray (and a lot of sharks) onto their back they go into a kind of torpor (as if paralysed). Orcas in New Zealand have taken advantage of this and learned to flip them over before eating them to avoid a nasty sting.