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Stingray Facts…Cownose rays are related to sharks and skates

Photo: Stingray facts....The Cownose Ray....Cownose rays are related to sharks and skates. This stingray belongs to the Family Myliobatidae, which includes bat rays, manta rays and eagle rays.</p>
<p>Cownose rays get their name from their unique forehead, which resembles the nose of a cow. They are brown to olive-colored on top with no spots, and pale below. Cownose males are about 2½ feet across. Females are 2-3 feet across.The tail is about twice as long as the body. Beach-goers sometimes mistake these rays for sharks. When the rays are swimming near the surface, the tips of the wings sometimes stick out of the water, resembling a shark's dorsal fin.</p>
<p>Cownose rays can be found in the Atlantic Ocean along western Africa, the eastern U.S., the Gulf of Mexico and parts of the Caribbean. They are considered an open ocean species, but can inhabit inshore, shallow bays and estuaries. They prefer warm temperate and tropical waters to depths of 72 feet. Many gather in Chesapeake Bay during the summer months.</p>
<p>Cownose rays feed on bottom-dwelling shellfish, lobster, crabs and fish. To locate their prey, cownose rays have electroreceptors on their snouts as well as excellent senses of smell and touch. They will stir up the bottom with their flexible wing tips or use their noses to root around in the mud or sand. Once they find their prey, they flap their wings rapidly to move the sand aside.</p>
<p>They suck water and sand into their mouths and blow it out through their gills to create a depression in the sand that allows easier access to their food.</p>
<p>They have very strong teeth arranged in flat plates that are perfect for crunching hard-shelled prey. These rays spit out the shells of the animals they eat, and only swallow the soft body parts.</p>
<p>Stingrays are known for their stingers, but they are actually very docile creatures. Cownose rays school and migrate in large groups, sometimes up to thousands of individuals. They are strong swimmers and can migrate long distances. Scientists believe that the migrations may be triggered by seasonal changes in water temperature and sun orientation.</p>
<p>They have been seen jumping clear out of the water and landing on their bellies, making loud smacking sounds. They don't rest on the bottom as much as other types of stingrays.</p>
<p>Article courtesy of St Louis Zoo

Cownose rays get their name from their unique forehead, which resembles the nose of a cow. They are brown to olive-colored on top with no spots, and pale below. Cownose males are about 2½ feet across. Females are 2-3 feet across.The tail is about twice as long as the body. Beach-goers sometimes mistake these rays for sharks. When the rays are swimming near the surface, the tips of the wings sometimes stick out of the water, resembling a shark’s dorsal fin.

Cownose rays can be found in the Atlantic Ocean along western Africa, the eastern U.S., the Gulf of Mexico and parts of the Caribbean. They are considered an open ocean species, but can inhabit inshore, shallow bays and estuaries. They prefer warm temperate and tropical waters to depths of 72 feet. Many gather in Chesapeake Bay during the summer months.

Cownose rays feed on bottom-dwelling shellfish, lobster, crabs and fish. To locate their prey, cownose rays have electroreceptors on their snouts as well as excellent senses of smell and touch. They will stir up the bottom with their flexible wing tips or use their noses to root around in the mud or sand. Once they find their prey, they flap their wings rapidly to move the sand aside.

They suck water and sand into their mouths and blow it out through their gills to create a depression in the sand that allows easier access to their food.

They have very strong teeth arranged in flat plates that are perfect for crunching hard-shelled prey. These rays spit out the shells of the animals they eat, and only swallow the soft body parts.

Stingrays are known for their stingers, but they are actually very docile creatures. Cownose rays school and migrate in large groups, sometimes up to thousands of individuals. They are strong swimmers and can migrate long distances. Scientists believe that the migrations may be triggered by seasonal changes in water temperature and sun orientation.

They have been seen jumping clear out of the water and landing on their bellies, making loud smacking sounds. They don’t rest on the bottom as much as other types of stingrays.

Stingray-kit

Article courtesy of St Louis Zoo

Dive Flag App Travels, Shop & Product Reviews

Product Review – Jellyfish Sting Relief Solution

About Ocean Care Solutions

Ocean Care Solutions’ (OCS) first aid products were developed by Kevin, a certified scuba diver. Kevin noticed that there was no convenient, proven medically effective, first aid products for stings from the Lionfish, the Man of War, the Sea Urchin, the Stingray, Fire Coral and Jellyfish. For two years Kevin consulted with international marine science and emergency medical communities to develop what they refer to as ‘the definitive Gold Standard’ for sea sting injuries. All OCS’s products have been developed without the reliance of myths, home remedies or guesswork.
Ron at OCS got in contact with Dive Flag App in a hope to have their product reviewed and publicized to Scuba Divers around the world. After initial discussions OCS sent us, here at Dive Flag App, a package containing a few hundred samples to test and distribute to other Dive Flag App members.  Today we had the opportunity to test their most ‘popular’ product the Jellyfish Sting Relief Solution (JSR Solution). This was a timely arrangement as Australia is currently experiencing an outbreak of jellyfish including the Blue Blubber Jellyfish (common name).

Product Description – Jellyfish Sting Relief Solution

OCS’s JSR Solution was developed to neutralize the stinging cells of jellyfish. The solution suspends any remaining pain causing nematocysts (stinging cells) from firing.  The directions of use are as follows:
  1.  Rinse the injury with salt water only,
  2.  Shake the spray and simultaneously press down on the top to pump the solution,
  3.  Apply the safe JSR Solution for 3-5 minutes, and then
  4.  Simply scrape away the pain.  Re-apply if necessary.
The application of the JSR solution is to ‘de-activate’ the jellyfish stinging cells. For the best results it is recommended that you apply the JSR Solution as soon as possible after having been stung. Delay in the use of this product limits effectiveness.
The JSR Solution comes in a small and convenient spray bottle made with medically recommended 5% acetic acid for the best results.

Product Trial

Dive Flag App were naturally skeptical about the effectiveness of OCS’s JSR Solution and so we decided to test the product out. Before reading further it is important to note that Dive Flag App did so under the supervision of trained emergency personnel and in no way is Dive Flag App suggesting that other members perform the following test.
Frank Vorster located two Blue Blubber Jellyfish in the Gold Coast Seaway, Queensland, Australia. He proceeded to sting himself in two ‘similar’ locations by lightly pressing up against the tentacles of the two jellyfish as they floated by. To one location he applied the JSR Solution and to the other he applied nothing. Eager to test the product out – others part-took in the experiment too.

Observations

  1. Within one minute, the stinging sensation on the hand with the JSR Solution started to subside whilst the second location’s continued to intensify as more stinging cells activated.
  2. After five minutes the stinging sensation on the location with the JSR Solution had all but faded completely, whilst the stinging sensation of the second location continued.
  3. Frank wiped the location with the JSR Solution as directed. The location where he had applied the JSR Solution appeared unaffected. Whilst having  wiped off the second location in a similar fashion had only activated the remaining stinging cells, effectively reactivating the sting.
  4. For a further 25 minutes Frank felt the stinging sensation on the second location whilst the location where the JSR Solution was applied felt “like it was never stung”.

Product Review

The JSR Solution performed as OCS had claimed. The product was easy to apply and immediately effective. The quality is guaranteed by OCS’s Californian manufacturing facility. A single 1oz bottle can be used to relieve 4 stings and the 4oz bottle can relieve up to 12 stings. With a shelf life of over 2 years the product can be stored without concern.
  • Price: 5/5
  • Effectiveness: 5/5
  • Quality: 5/5
  • Product Recommendation: Don’t get stung without it! Don’t go diving without it!
Dive Flag App highly recommend that all beach going, water sport activists and especially scuba divers keep a bottle of the solution in their bag. The product is incredible effective and useful.

Where to Buy the Product

Dive Flag App is so impressed with the effectiveness of the solution, we have worked out an arrangement with Ocean Care Solutions to become the exclusive distributor for these products. Dive Flag App is currently developing an on-line store where you can buy the product. If you would like a sample, to purchase some units for personal use or become a retailer for these products, simply email us for more information: info@diveflagapp.com .

Blessed Diving,

Dive Flag App
www.diveflagapp.com
info@diveflagapp.com
www.facebook.com/diveflagapp

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Ocean Care Solutions new Lionfish Sting 1st Aid Kit expands company family of marine sting first aid products

Ocean Care Solutions is devoted to providing safe and effective marine sting first aid products for the consumer.  Our products have been tested true as each individual kit follows the medically accepted first aid protocol supported by life saving agencies, physicians and medical facility research groups worldwide.  Each kit has all the components necessary, with easy to follow instructions, to provide immediate 1st aid medical attention on a variety of marine stingers.  No matter what you pleasure at the ocean; sport fishing, surfing, scuba, distance swimming, snorkeling or just hangin’ out in the surf, always be prepared with Ocean Care Solutions first aid products….Available on line or select retailers…Ask for it by name..You’ll be glad your did !!

ocs fmly5 IMG_0032

 

ARC and AHA recommend 5% acetic acid for jellyfish stings first aid..

The American Red Cross and American Heart Association announced changes to guidelines for administering first aid. Among the revisions are updated recommendations for the treatment of snake bites, anaphylaxis (shock), jellyfish stings and severe bleeding. The First Aid Guidelines are being published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Volunteer experts from more than 30 national and international organizations joined the Red Cross and the American Heart Association in reviewing 38 separate first aid questions. Experts analyzed the science behind them and worked to reach consensus on the treatment recommendations

In looking at the treatment of jellyfish stings, the revised guidelines reaffirm the recommendation to use vinegar to treat the sting. The vinegar neutralizes the venom and may prevent it from spreading. After the vinegar deactivates the venom, immersing the area in hot water for about 20 minutes is effective for reducing pain.

Ocean Care Solutions’ Jellyfish Sting Relief is specially formulated with 5% acetic acid is safe, gentle on your skin and very effective pain relief for a wide variety of jelly species and range of marine stings. Don’t get stung without it  !!

Are Jellyfish Stings Dangerous?

The effects of jellyfish stings can range from mild pain and stinging, to skin irritations and blisters, to respiratory problems, cardiac arrest, and death. The toxicity of a jellyfish sting depends upon the species of jellyfish and the reaction of a person’s body to the jellyfish venom.

The most toxic type of jellyfish is the Box Jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri and Caruka barnesi) found in Australia and some regions of the Indo-Pacific. The venom of the Box Jellyfish has been known to kill a person in five minutes.

Box Jellyfish

Irukandji…no larger than your thumb nail but extremely venomous…

People react differently to jellyfish stings. Consider a jellyfish sting as a “dose” of poison. The smaller the person, the greater the effect of a jellyfish sting will be. Just as some people are highly allergic to bees and may go into anaphylactic shock from a single sting, other people may be unusually sensitive to jellyfish venom and may have a similar severe reaction.

OCS Jellyfish Sting Relief is very effective on the Box jelly..Our specially formulated 5 % acetic acid (stronger than household vinegar) has proven effective on the Box and a wide variety of jellies and marine stingers but we have not, nor ever plan to test our product on the Irukanji.  Just too dangerous even though we are told by The Marine Sting Institute, Queensland, through their own experience; 5% acetic acid application can relive the pain of the Irukandji but NOT the syndrome..Best to stay away from thse animals all together.

Take it along with you..it works !!!

Text courtesy of Natalie Gibb..About.com

Safely Dive With Stingrays…avoid the attack zone..

As they gently glide a few inches above the sand, stingrays appear elegant, peaceful and calm – and they are ninety-nine percent of the time. The only time divers need to worry is when stingrays feel endangered. A frightened sting ray can plunge its sharp, venomous sting straight through a wetsuit and deep into a diver’s flesh.
While diving, stingrays may be approached with little risk. On the rare occasion that a stingray strikes a diver underwater, the diver has most likely inadvertently threatened or cornered the animal. Perhaps the diver hovered directly over the ray or floated in front of it making the stingray feel trapped against a reef without an escape route.
Because a stingray sees and swims forward easily, leave it a forward escape route. Most importantly, stay out a stingray’s striking zone, the area directly above the ray. The ray can easily strike in the area at the top of its back by arching its tail forward. By contrast, the area behind the ray’s back and the space to its sides are difficult for the ray to reach without turning its body or making swimming adjustments. Divers who are alert and aware of the stingray’s attack zone should be relatively safe.

Stingray attacks are more likely to occur to divers who are entering or exiting the ocean through shallow water and accidentally step on a stingray. Naturally the stingray will react. When the stingray is stepped on, it quickly whips its long tail forward and down, which jabs the sting at the base of the tail into the offender. This is a defensive maneuver designed to remove the diver’s foot from the stingray’s body, and it works. To avoid stepping on top of a stingray, divers can shuffle their feet when entering or exiting the water. In addition, divers should be aware of stingray habitats such as long sandy shores. Because neither dive booties nor fins protect a diver from a stingray’s hard, razor sharp sting, the diver should be vigilant if he suspects he might be in a stingray habitat.

Although the possibilities of being stung are in yiour favor, take along our Ocean Care Stingray First Aid Kit.  Everything is there to provide you immediate first aid with easy to follow directions on just what to do..Don’t get stung with out  !!

 

Article and photos courtesy of Natalie Gibb, About.com Guide

Most fire coral frequently has white tips…

Fire coral grows in familiar coral shapes. Divers have reported seeing fire coral in blade, branching, box, and even encrusting forms. As fire coral is easily confused with other corals, color is a good way to identify it. Most fire coral is a brownish-orange or brownish-green. It frequently has white tips, like the fire coral in this photo.

But if you do have an encounter with stinging fire coral, use our Ocean Care Fire Coral First Aid Kit…everything you need is in the bag..air tight, convenient to use and effective !! Don’t going diving without it !!

www.oceancaresolutions.com

photo and txt courtesy of About.com

Fire Coral..beautiful but dangerous..

Don’t learn about fire coral the hard way. Fire coral is related to jellyfish and anemones, and just like these creatures, it can really, really, sting. This Fire coral, Millepora sp., is beautiful, but dangerous.


Learn to identify fire coral and then be sure to avoid it! Divers should be on the look out for fire coral in tropical and subtropical seas. But if you do have an encounter with stinging fire coral, use our Ocean Care Fire Coral First Aid Kit…everything you need is in the bag..air tight, convenient to use and effective !! Don’t going diving without it !!

www.oceancaresolutions.com

photo and txt courtesy of About.com

Bloodybelly Comb Jellfish..

The bloodybelly comb jellys sparkling display is from light diffracting from tiny transparent, hair-like cilia. These beat continuously as a form of propulsion. In the deep sea, the jelly is nearly invisible; animals that are red appear black and blend into the dark background.

Comb jellys are a kind of jelly thing that aren’t particularly closely related to jellyfish. They swim by beating their so called ‘combs’, which are actually hair-like structures called cilia. You can see rows of them  all along the animal shimmering and glittering in the gloom. They are carnivorous and have two sticky tentacles for capturing prey. This particular comb jelly has a deeply pigmented stomach for masking the bioluminescence of its food. It also looks a bit like a heart, before looking more like some foreboding alien space vessel. Spooky.

 

Utube courtesy of Monterey Bay Aquarium

Content courtesy of realmonstrosities.com

Jellyfish invasion in New Zealand..Man o War and the Mauve

An invasion of jellyfish has hit Wellington sparking warnings for people to be careful and to keep dogs out of the water.

At least two dogs have been treated after being stung in the water off Lyall Bay and Ritchie Wards, a fisherman off the Petone wharf, this week had to cut his line free after snagging jellyfish.

”As I was bringing in my line it was covered in this thick tentacle sludge,” he said.

Later that evening he saw ”hundreds” of jellyfish at Oriental Bay.

”I would say there were three different types: one that was clear with black/brown spots, another that had a pink centre and lastly a much larger variety … that had a head the size of a large dinner plate, seemed to have an orange-looking core that almost resembled an octopus and long clear tentacles.”

Another reader spotted hundreds off large jellyfish with long tentacles off Scorching Bay.

Shown a photograph of this jellyfish, Otago University marine scientist senior lecturer Miles Lamare said it appeared to be a jellyfish known in Europe as a mauve stinger.

”They will sting but are not deadly as other jellyfish such as the box jellies or Portuguese man-o’-war.”

However, the potentially-fatal Portuguese man-o’-war had been found in New Zealand waters.

Mauve stingers were usually found in open and warm waters, and had been reported in topical waters as densely-packed as 600 individuals per cubic meter or water.

”There is also some thought that numbers of jellyfish are increasing due to climate change and loss of predators,” Dr Lamare said.

Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean visited Lyall Bay beach today and said there were a lot of iridescent blue jellyfish with tentacles up to half-a-metre long washed up.

He warned people to keep their dogs out of the water and away from the high tide mark.

”If these things are stinging dogs it might be good for people to take caution.”

Miramar vet Allan Probert said his surgery had seen two dogs today which had been stung at Lyall Bay Beach.
He speculated they may be Portuguese man-o’-war jellyfish.

Julian Hodge, from Island Bay Marine Education Centre, said Portuguese man-o’-war were tropical and northern sub-tropical jellyfish and it was ”highly unlikely” they had reached Wellington.

The swarms of different jellyfish in Wellington right now had  been brought down the east coast of the North Island in a warm current then got blown back into Wellington when they got hit by strong southerlies in the Cook Strait.

Last summer a swimmer reported seeing two Portuguese man o’ war in the water off Waiheke.

Safe and proven effective…Don’t get stung without it..!!