Stingray Dissection *Warning Graphic Images

Dieselhybrid

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Dieselhybrid

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In the guide around #15 the stomach is described as a "J" shaped organ just beneath the esophagus. The esophagus travels down becoming the stomach. The tract then curves left and travels back upward becoming the intestines which curves left again to travel back down to the cloaca (multipurpose opening). The early "J" portion of this path, is the stomach which is pictured here.

**It must be said be VERY careful poking around in the stomach and digestive tract contents. Swallowing and lodging of shed barbs is a known cause of death. Reaching into the pharynx, esophagus or any part of the digestive tract could have a painful surprise. Make sure it's clear in there before considering touching with a finger.

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Dieselhybrid

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"The small intestine is composed of the duodenum and ileum. The ileum is thicker and contains a spiral valve, which increases surface area for absorption. The large intestine (colon) is shorter than the small intestine and has a rectal gland which is used for salt excretion that projects into the cloaca. "
Here are the photos of the rest of the digestive tract. The dark organ in the background I believe is the spleen. The spleen is described as dark but triangular. This organ is the only one dark but didn't look exactly triangular. I believe perhaps the corner of the pancreas is visible in the photos

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Dieselhybrid

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Intestinal dissection. This is just above where the tract meets the cloaca (exit). Digestive fluids present, but digestive tract contained no solid contents. What you see here is the internal texture of the tract. The photo appears as though they may be solid contents but they are not. No visible blockages anywhere in the digestive tract.

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Dieselhybrid

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The remaining body cavity after liver removal was roughly two halves left and right. The center/left contained the digestive tract which we just explored, the right side contained the ovaries. Described in the guide as "elongated soft organs containing large, yellow eggs."

Numerous eggs were present of all different sizes. None of the eggs appeared to be fertilized One of the photos is of the dissected contents of the largest egg, confirming (I think?) that they were not fertilized.

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Dieselhybrid

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After the digestive and reproductive tracts were removed we are able to view the dorsal wall. According to the guide the kidneys are two tube-like organs that extend on either side of the mid dorsal line. In female they appear as thick rounded lobes lying on each side of the cloaca.
Here are the kidneys. No nodules or discoloration, both symmetrical in location and uniform in appearance. The tops were slit free from the body so I could fit my fingers beneath them to make them more visible against the black gloves.


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Dieselhybrid

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This completes the dissection of the pleuroperitoneal (body) cavity. As far as is presently known everything looks normal. Large livers are very common in rays and sharks. The organs are present and all in tact. No obstructions were found in the renal system (kidneys), digestive system, or reproductive systems all of which have openings that attach to the cloaca (multipurpose opening). No foul odors detected, no excessive bleeding. Primary question I have (maybe we can come up with more) is the texture of the intestines and that inflammation once dissected. If that is normal?
 
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Dieselhybrid

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The remaining anterior skin and muscle tissue was removed to expose the head region and pericardial cavity. The heart looked in tact. The mouth and pharynx were examined for blockages, cuts, or anything that looked abnormal in the upper digestive tract.

One thing immediately noticed was the size of the jaw muscles, they are really large, round, dense, bilateral "balls" of muscle. Used to provide the strong jaw to crunch shells.

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Dieselhybrid

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Peeking into the mouth down into the throat/pharynx. No stinger barb visible. Interesting observation is that there is a marbled pigment in the mouth/throat/pharynx area. Almost like their exterior pigmentation and coloring.

The lower jaw was removed to fully view the pharynx for obstructions.

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