#219 Red Sea Torpedo

Critically Endangered

Around the World in 80 Days - Day 11

Phileas Fogg stopped in Aden, Yemen to take on coal before continuing on.


I really couldn't find much of anything about these. It really is not a surprise though. While there was a survey done in 2017, none were found. Actually, none have been seen since they were first recorded in 1898. There is no protection in place for them. They are from one spot of the SW coast of Yemen. Instead of just the CR classification, they are classified as critically endangered, possibly extinct. All the information I could find about these are that they are mildly electric, and at least one was about 9 inches long. There are no pictures of them obviously, but I did find one simple black and white drawing after hours of searching. I will not share it here, because it is not my picture and I am only sharing pictures I've painted or photos I've taken. I'm hoping that it was showing the actual markings. There is another torpedo ray with similar markings, though most don't have the large splotches like this. Other than that drawing, all the sites but one simply had no photo, and one site had a drawing of the underside of a ray and they specifically said it was a drawing of a different ray, just there for an example. So, this is my best guess, using the colours of other rays, and trying to do the markings as shown in the one drawing.


Sometimes I think this is sort of what it must be like for archaeologists who have found a bone or two and are trying to learn what the animal was. Most of the time I have either pictures, or a written description. When I don't have that, I usually can find a scientist who has studied the animal and has seen it so I can try and find them to ask what the animal looks like. Doing this around the world series, I'm not researching well ahead much beyond trying to find what animal I can paint, so I don't have the ability to hold off on an animal until I hear back from a scientist. With this ray, I don't have anyone to contact about it. I cannot find any information about where a specimen, if there are any, might be located. For all I know, this could be a blue and yellow fish. I wouldn't expect it to be, but I suppose it is possible. I do hope that my painting does the species justice, whether they still exist or not. I find it very sad that this species may have faded into extinction without anyone really knowing what they look like.


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