1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Spiracle

By

Stingray Spiracles Image / Jennifer Kennedy

Cownose ray, showing spiracles located just behind eyes.

Jennifer Kennedy, Licensed to About.com
Definition:

Spiracles are found in some sharks and all rays. They are a pair of openings just behind the fish's eyes that allow it to draw oxygenated water in from above. The spiracles aid the fish in breathing even when it is lying on the ocean bottom or buried in the sand.

Examples:

Southern stingrays are a sand-dwelling species that uses its spiracles to breathe when it is lying on the ocean bottom. Spiracles behind the ray's eyes draw in water, which is expelled from its gills on the ray's underside.

  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Marine Life
  4. Marine Life 101
  5. Glossary - Marine Life and Marine Biology Terms
  6. Spiracle on Sharks and Rays Definition

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.