You can find out in this week’s video!
You don’t think about chewing much, do you? Don’t worry, I didn’t either—until I came across the latest research from Dr. Matthew Kolmann! He’s a functional morphologist who studies stingrays, and he recently discovered something pretty amazing about them: they chew their food!
I know, this doesn’t sound that interesting, right? But it is! (Especially to nerdy folk like me!) Chew on this: Chewing has been around for about 60-70 million years, and up until recently, scientists believed that mammals were some of the only creatures that did it. It comes in handy, because it allows creatures to eat harder foods, like insects or shellfish.
But when Dr. Kolmann noticed certain species of freshwater stingrays were eating insects, he knew that something fishy was going on. Why? Stingrays have skeletons made of cartilage, which means they lack the super sharp teeth needed to eat hard stuff (like the exoskeletons of insects!) So, he decided to take a closer look.
He used high speed photography to watch these stingrays eat and noticed something remarkable: not only do they chew their food, they do so like cows or goats!
You can learn more in the video, and don’t miss the link in the description as well—you can click it to see video of the chewing stingrays themselves! (It’s super cool.)
Thanks for watching!