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Friendship Flats

Make a new friend and reach out to a ray as they glide through this tropical lagoon.

What Will You Discover?

Get up close and interactive with our remarkable rays in this shallow lagoon! Feel the smoothness of their dark top sides for yourself, ask questions about these unusual creatures, or glide deeper into discovery and swim with the stingrays!

Southern Stingray Southern Stingray

Southern Stingray

Found on reef-adjacent sandy bottoms, seagrass beds, and lagoons, the southern stingray is typically buried in the sand during the day, preferring to forage at night. While buried, this ray uses holes behind the eyes called spiracles to draw in clean water above the sand and pump it across the gills on the underside of the body.

Conservation Status

Near Threatened


Mollusks, worms, crustaceans, fish


Western Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea

Did You Know?

Southern stingrays will use special electroreceptive pores called ampullae of Lorenzini to locate buried prey items by sensing the faint electric fields emitted by living things. Once buried prey is identified, the ray will use jets of water from their mouth and a digging motion with their wings to excavate and consume its prey.

Round Stingray Round Stingray

Round Stingray

With a preference for sandy shallow areas, the round stingray is a common sight for beachgoers, especially in southern California. Named for its nearly circular body shape, this stingray actually has a small caudal fin at the end of its tail rather than the whiplike tail of many other stingray species.

Conservation Status

Least concern


Eastern Pacific Ocean


Worms, crustaceans, mollusks, fish

Did You Know?

Stingrays are a group of species named for the venomous serrated spine located on their tail. Although stingrays do not attack people, the tail spines can cause painful wounds if stepped on. When wading in shallow water at the beach, be sure to shuffle your feet to prevent an accidental encounter with a hidden stingray.

Dive Into More Adventures

Swirling Pinstripe backdrop

Woah! The aquarium sounds like alotl fun! But what are you doing all the way down here with the axolotls – some of the most secretive salamanders in the world?!

Did you know the spotted salamander is the state amphibian of South Carolina? It earned the title in 1999 thanks to a campaign led by a class of Spartanburg third graders.