Electric ray

Electric ray

name = Electric rays

image_width = 240px
image_caption = "Torpedo fuscomaculata"
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Chondrichthyes
subclassis = Elasmobranchii
superordo = Batoidea
ordo = Torpediniformes
subdivision_ranks = Families
subdivision =
Electric rays (order Torpediniformes) are fish that have a rounded body and a pair of organs capable of producing an electric discharge, varying from as little as 8 volts to up to 220 volts depending on the species, which is used to stun or kill prey. There are 69 species in four families. [cite web|url=http://www.elasmo-research.org/education/shark_profiles/torpediniformes.htm|title=Torpediniformes: Electric Rays|publisher=ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research] The monotypic family Hypnidae, however, may be classed as a subfamily of Torpedinidae under the name Hypninae.

Perhaps the most known members are those of the genus "Torpedo", also called crampfish and numbfish, after which the device called a torpedo is named. The name comes from the Latin "torpere", to be stiffened or paralyzed, referring to the effect on someone who handles or steps on a living electric ray.

Torpedo rays are excellent swimmers. Their round disk shaped bodies allow them to remain suspended in the water or roam for food with minimal swimming effort.

Medicinal Use

The electrical shocks of the torpedo fish did not go unnoticed by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Scribonius Largus, a Roman physician, recorded the use of torpedo fish for treatment of headache and gout in his "Compositiones Medicae" of 46 AD.citation
first = Theodore H. | last = Bullock
title = Electroreception
pages = 5–7
publisher = Springer
year = 2005
isbn = 0387231927

Some electric rays

*Marbled electric ray, "Torpedo sinusperisici"
*Atlantic torpedo ray, "Torpedo nobiliana"
*Pacific electric ray, "Torpedo californica"
*Lesser electric ray, "Narcine brasiliensis"
*Blind electric ray, "Typhlonarke aysoni"


See also

* Electric fish
* Electric eel

External links

* [http://www.britannica.com/ebc/article?tocId=9363548 electric ray -- Britannica Concise Encyclopedia Online Article]
* [ List of Species called "electric ray"]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Electric ray — Electric E*lec tric ([ e]*l[e^]k tr[i^]k), Electrical E*lec tric*al ([ e]*l[e^]k tr[i^]*kal), a. [L. electrum amber, a mixed metal, Gr. h lektron; akin to hle ktwr the beaming sun, cf. Skr. arc to beam, shine: cf. F. [ e]lectrique. The name came… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Electric ray — Ray Ray, n. [F. raie, L. raia. Cf. {Roach}.] (Zo[ o]l.) (a) Any one of numerous elasmobranch fishes of the order Rai[ae], including the skates, torpedoes, sawfishes, etc. (b) In a restricted sense, any of the broad, flat, narrow tailed species,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • electric ray — n any of various round bodied short tailed rays (family Torpedinidae) of warm seas that have a pair of specialized tracts of tissue in which electricity is generated …   Medical dictionary

  • electric ray — n. any of an order (Torpediniformes) of cartilaginous fishes with special organs that can produce strong electrical discharges used to paralyze or stun its enemies or prey …   English World dictionary

  • electric ray — any ray of the family Torpedinidae, capable of emitting strong electric discharges. [1765 75] * * * Any of the aquatic rays (families Torpedinidae, Narkidae, and Temeridae) that produce an electrical shock. They are found worldwide in warm and… …   Universalium

  • electric ray — noun any sluggish bottom dwelling ray of the order Torpediniformes having a rounded body and electric organs on each side of the head capable of emitting strong electric discharges • Syn: ↑crampfish, ↑numbfish, ↑torpedo • Hypernyms: ↑ray • Member …   Useful english dictionary

  • electric ray — elec′tric ray′ n. ich any ray of the family Torpedinidae, capable of emitting strong electric discharges • Etymology: 1765–75 …   From formal English to slang

  • electric ray — /əˌlɛktrɪk ˈreɪ/ (say uh.lektrik ray) noun a ray of the family Torpedinidae which possesses a peculiar organ enabling it to stun its prey with electric shock …  

  • electric ray — noun a sluggish bottom dwelling marine ray that can produce an electric shock for the capture of prey and for defence. [Torpedo and other genera: many species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • electric ray — noun Date: 1774 any of various round bodied short tailed rays (family Torpedinidae) of warm seas with a pair of electric organs …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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