Stingrays are neither threatened nor endangered species. They derive their name from their slender, whip-like tails equipped with venomous spines. They've been hunted for centuries for their meat and also today stingrays are marketed for food in various countries around the world, principally in Europe and Asia.
" Behavior of stingrays "
They live in the bottom parts of shallow tropical waters. Looking carefully, you are likely to find them lying on a seabed, buried or partially covered with sand. They can move very rapidly when threatened or in pursuit of a passing fish. They also eat mollusks and crustaceans, crushing then with their flat, strong teeth.
Most of stingrays are not especially afraid of humans. When approached, they swim gently to another place naturally avoiding too close contact. In many places around the world they became tourist attraction, where people can swim together or even feed them.
" General characteristics of stingrays "
Stingrays can be found in the major oceans; Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Most stingrays are marine, living in salt water but they can be found in freshwater and where salt and fresh water mix (brackish water). The side of the head has a continuous shape with the outer side margin of the pectoral fin, the fins that look like wings.
They breath by drawing water through a small hole behind the eye and expel the water through gill slits on the underside of the disc. The dorsal fin or backward fin, does not exist or sometimes are hard to distinguish. The disc is about 1.2 times as broad as the length.
The stingray does not have a tail fin (cuadal fin). Instead it has a tail and it looks like a whip with a long venomous spine on the tail. The spine is replaced every four months. Most species have at least 1 long venomous spine on the tail, and some stingrays that are seen to have two.
Injuries to humans from stingrays occur when an unsuspecting person steps on a ray, causing the creature to reflexively strike out with its tail. The stinger apparatus then injects a toxin, causing immediate shooting pain. Although there is no known antidote for their toxin, it's rarely fatal for humans.The largest of these is the specie is Trygonidae with a total length of about 4 meters. With the above calculations, the total width can be approximately 4.8 meters.
" Stingray leather "
There are very few stingray species that provide suitable leather hides. These are called "scaly species". The skin of these stingrays consists of thousands of tiny rock-hard pearls or scales. This stingray leather is exceptionally strong and by many is called the most durableleather in the world. It's definitely fire, water, tear and "cut" resistant.
The reason of these features lies in the structure of the leather. In regular leather, the fibres of the leather run parallel to each other, whereas in stingray leather the fibres run in all directions. In addition, all the tiny pearls with their roots are grown into the bottom layer of the leather, to the effect that you can neither tear the leather apart, nor cut it easily with the knife.
There are many products that can be made from stingray leather; handbag,purses and wallets for example. There are also coin purses and key wallets too. One can choose from a variety of colors and sizes, all genuine exotic stingray leather.
" Leather fashion "
It is hard to tell exactly when leather became fashionable or became a fashion statement. There are some who thought it started in the time of the Wild West (U.S.A.), the picture of the cowboy wearing leather chaps for protection from dusty winds and the elements. Wearing leather somehow was related to the Wild West then. The feeling of wide open plains, the rugged nature, wind and dust, elements of risk and danger and such like.
Then after some time, the motorcycle and the adventure of road travel became popular. Leather was used to make gloves and jackets mainly to provide protection from the wind. Some styling and creativity was involved and gave it a look that became popular. Yes, think of big motorcycles with drivers wearing dark sunglasses and black leather jackets. Leather at that time was somehow connected with the popularity of the big motorbikes from Harley-Davidson. Even now, there are leather jackets and gloves for those who ride motorcycles for fun or as part of their work.
From the fashion trends at the present time, leather is much more popular as an accessory rather than worn as a jacket. Don't get us wrong, leather jackets and gloves are still worn but not as the cowboy or the motorbike rider. Every fashion house, runway show or fashion magazine will show a new style, a new exciting way of creating leather items. This caters to the different tastes and styles of those who buy and use leather accessories. How do you like your wallet to be like? What would you want to have for your handbag? Should purses be made from one piece of crocodile leather or would you rather have it combined with some type of textile?
Exotic leathers have unique and beautiful grains which makes the accessory an attraction, to some extents, desirable. Crocodile leather is an established luxury, status symbol. Exotic leathers are just different.
Stingray leather gets attention, for example. Small, hard as pebbles bead-like formations along the surface never cease to wonder. Like the turtle, the stingray grows this naturally. Unpolished, it is rough and sometimes sharp to the touch. A craftsman knows how to do it just right so that it has a rich, warm feeling like all exotic leathers.
"How to distinguish genuine stingray leather from a fake?"
1. Fire Test: The grains of a fake would melt when burned.
2. Red Hot Needle Test: The grains of genuine stingray leather could not be punctured with a red hot needle.
3. The Skin Grains: The grains in a fake are glued. In a genuine skin, they are part of it.
4. The Arrangement of skin grains: The grains of genuine stingray skin are tidily, closely, and naturally bonded together leaving no gaps in between.