A quintet of baby stingrays are settling into their new home at Blue Reef Aquarium.
The southern stingrays were born at the end of September last year and are part of a highly successful captive breeding programme at the attraction’s sister aquarium in Newquay.
As part of their ‘UK tour’ the rays were transported in special containers to Hastings, complete with their own filtration and heating systems, before making their debut in the aquarium’s giant ocean display.
Now keepers at the Rock-a-Nore Road aquarium have decided to name the quintet after the members of One Direction; Harry, Louis, Zayn, Niall and Liam.
Blue Reef’s Leanna Lawson said: “We were trying to come up with names for the new arrivals and one of the team suggested that as there were five of them we could name them after the guys from One Direction. I have to say the stingrays aren’t anywhere near as easy to identify as the boys but the aquarists have assured me they can tell them all apart as each of them does have their own individual markings.”
Southern stingrays have a gestation period of about six months. The eggs hatch within the mother’s body and the pups are born live folded up like a newspaper. Related to sharks, stingrays get their name from the razor-sharp barb on their tails which the animal uses to defend itself when threatened. Fully grown females can reach lengths of up to two metres. The heaviest recorded specimen weighed more than 135 kgs.