Cownose Rays : Great Lakes Aquarium
Cownose ray swimming.

Cownose Rays

Exhibits: Shipwrecks Alive!

Animal Groups: Fish

Latin Name: Rhinopetera bonasus

Cownose rays hunt for fish and crustaceans using pulses of electricity that help them detect the movement of animals buried in the sand.


Cownose rays swim in open water and visit the ocean bottom to feed. There are several species of cownose rays found around the world. This particular one lives in the Caribbean Sea. Others are found in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

Conservation Status: Varies with region. Threatened in Mediterranean Sea.

Natural History

These stingrays have a stinger called a spine. This spine has lateral edges coated in a weak venom that protects them from predators. When humans come into contact with this substance it can cause a similar reaction as a bee sting.