Steve Irwin wasn’t killed by a Stingray. Steve Irwin was killed by stunningly bad luck. Stingrays don’t often sting. When they do, they usually sting someone who steps on them, which means they stab someone in the leg. They don’t sting people in the heart. Irwin’s (completely understandable) surprise and alarm meant he pulled out the barb, which if left in may have been survivable.

Unfortunately after his death, a number of stingrays were found mutilated on beaches, allegedly killed in "revenge". Because if there was anything Irwin stood for in life it was the senseless slaughter of animals.

The species name given above is a possible match for what actually killed Irwin, but is hardly the only type. There are more than two hundred different species in a number of genus, and they live all around the world.

Most stingray stings, like with Stonefish, occur when a person steps on the camouflaged animal. The spiked tail shoots forwards and stabs the leg or foot. Like a bee, the barbed stinging spike is left in. They are not really like a bee in any other way.

Irwin is not the only nasty attack from stingrays. Not long after his death a ray leapt into the boat of a fisherman off Florida and speared him in the chest. He survived, but had to have surgery to remove pieces of the stinger from his chest. It must have hurt like an absolute bitch.

Stingray venom is a protein, whch means that it can be cooked, so the first treatment for a sting is to heat the wound as much as possible, usually with hot water. This will neutralise the toxin. The same is done for stonefish.

Pastinachus sephen