The stingray's tail spine, or barb, has serrated edges and a sharp point or barb. Tragedy struck with a barbed tail at Singapore’s Underwater World aquarium. In addition, it is difficult to remove, because it has serrations that point toward its base, similar to the end of a fish hook. In 2006, world-famous television animal show host Steve Irwin died from injuries sustained during a stingray attack. A stingray's venomous stinger (spine) at the base of their tails lashes out and can cause cuts or punctures. On Tuesday, a stingray killed a diver, 62-year-old Philip Chan, as the man was working in the animal’s enclosure. At the end of the tail are one or more barbed spines covered by a sheath. ... Irwin died when a stingray's tail stabbed him in the heart. The spine stays behind and poisons the victim with its venom. A stingray injury is caused by the venomous tail spines, stingers or dermal denticles of rays in the order Myliobatiformes, most significantly those belonging to the families Dasyatidae, Urotrygonidae, Urolophidae, and Potamotrygonidae. The underside may produce venom, which can be fatal to humans and can remain deadly even after the stingray… If … Stingray stings usually happen by accident when someone steps on a stingray, resulting in injury to the legs or feet. Stingray injuries are usually defensive actions, not attacks. Stingray attacks are fairly common on Hilton Head, but have never been deadly. The tail of the stingray that killed Irwin is capped with a roughly 8-inch spear made of the same stuff that makes up shark scales, known as dermal denticles. A stingray that is surprised can whip its tail into a perceived threat. He was 44 years old and his daughter, Bindi Irwin, was only 8. Stingrays generally do not attack aggressively or even actively defend themselves. In Greek mythology, Odysseus was killed when his son Telegonus unintentionally stabbed him using a spear tipped with the spine of a stingray. "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin died as a result of a freak stingray attack on Monday. Steve Irwin died tragically at age 44 when a stingray barb struck him in the heart September 4, 2006. The stingray has a fierce reputation and is best known for its infamous tail – long, thin, and whip-like with one to three barbed venomous spinal blades. When threatened, their primary reaction is to swim away. The injuries —caused by the barbed tail sending venom — tend to peak around Memorial Day weekend. A stingray’s tail is long, thin, and tapered, much like a whip. Stingray attacks are rare, but can often be fatal because the animal has venomous tail spines and stingers. A 42-year-old man has died after a suspected stingray attack off the Tasmanian coast, Australian police say. , their primary reaction is to swim away Crocodile Hunter '' Steve died. 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