Boom, we are coming at you with another freshwater Chondrichthyan—and it’s a shark! Known most commonly as the Speartooth shark (Glyphis glyphis), it is also called the Bizant River Shark or the Queensland River Shark.
Today’s Underrated Elasmobranch, the kite fin shark (Dalatias licha) is classified within the family Dalatiidae. The recently discovered pocket shark (Mollisquama mississippiensis) and the cookie cutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis) are also found in this group.
These sharks are found in deep waters all over the world. They can grow up to 182 cm (5.97 ft). They are used to make products from their squalene, liver oil, leather, and meat. This fishery is part of the reason for their vulnerable ranking on the IUCN Red List (2017).
Along the sandy bottoms from Brazil to Argentina live our next Underrated Elasmobranch, the rio ray (Rioraja agassizii). Not much is known about them, but they are considered harmless to humans and vulnerable on the IUCN Red List (2007).
The largest specimen ever observed was 33.0 cm (1.08 ft). These skates are the only member within their genus, Rioraja. They are oviparous, meaning that they lay eggs. These skate eggs, unlike the horn shark's (Heterodontus francisci), take on the classic “mermaid’s purse” shape.
TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
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