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Not just a huge collection of Shark Pictures: Elasmodiver.com contains images of sharks, skates, rays, and a few chimaera's from around the world. Elasmodiver began as a simple web based shark field guide to help divers find the best places to encounter the different species of sharks and rays that live in shallow water but it has slowly evolved into a much larger project containing information on all aspects of shark diving and shark photography.

There are now more than 10,000 shark pictures  and sections on shark evolution, biology, and conservation. There is a large library of reviewed shark books, a constantly updated shark taxonomy page, a monster list of shark links, and deeper in the site there are numerous articles and stories about shark encounters. Elasmodiver is now so difficult to check for updates, that new information and pictures are listed on an Elasmodiver Updates Page that can be accessed here:

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Shark picture - green sawfish

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DIAMOND STINGRAY

Diamond Stingray

View all available Diamond stingray images in the Shark Pictures Database

Common Names: Diamond stingray

Latin Name: Dasyatis dipterura, a.k.a. Dasyatis brevis.

Family: Dasyatidae

Identification: Rhomboid disc. Anterior disc margins mildly convex. Posterior disc margins more rounded. Dorsum tan to brown without obvious markings. Ventrum pale. Tail thick for about one third of length followed by deep dorsal and ventral finfolds. Last third of tail whiplike. Row of tubercles down centre line of back from behind eyes to tail spine in front of dorsal fin fold. Pronounced central body mass behind eyes often appears ribbed.

Size: Maximum length 1.5m maximum disc width 1.2m.

Habitat: Sand, mud, or rubble bottoms often near rocky reefs or kelp forests. Generally in shallow water but recorded at 65m.

Abundance and distribution: Eastern Pacific, from Southern California to northern Chile and the Galapagos Islands . Said to visit as far north as British Columbia during periods of extreme warm weather i.e. El Nino years. Uncommon in Southern Cali . Common in Baja where it breeds in shallow water.

Behavior: Rests on bottom during day usually partially buried with only eyes and tail protruding. At night hunts for crustaceans; crabs, shrimps, and bony fishes. Often found in groups segregated by sex.

Reproduction: Viviparous. Litter size about 1 to 4. Males mature at 50 to 65cm disc width, females at 65cm. Gestation period is around 2 to 3 months and newborn pups have a disc width of around 19 to 23cm. 

Observations:

Photographs: Los Morros Reef, Cabo Pulmo, Baja.

Similar species: Longtail stingray – Dasyatis longus.

Reaction to divers: Reputed to be easily approachable I found these rays to be skittish and difficult to approach. Perhaps in their cooler southern Californian range they are a little more sluggish.

Diving logistics: Cabo Pulmo on Baja’s Eastern Cape has one of the best reef systems in the Sea of Cortez and is very popular with Diamond stingrays. One particularly reef is Los Morros which is a favorite of Pepe – Owner of Pepe’s dive centre. The reef is ten minutes from shore by panga and all supplies can be obtained from Pepe. I also saw a Bentfin devil ray cruising over this site and all the reefs in this area are meeting points for pelagics.

Getting to Cabo Pulmo is half the fun as the last 15km is on a semi graded dirt road. There are two other dive shops in the village but Pepe is the most knowledgeable. 

Other diving locations submitted by readers:

References and further reading:

Sharks, Rays, and Chimaeras of California . David A. Ebert. University of California Press.

Coastal Fish Identification - California to Alaska . Paul Humann. New World Publications Inc.

Reef Sharks and Rays of the World. Scott W. Michael. Sea Challengers.

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