"What the heck is a False Shark Ray?" you must be asking. To be honest, so were we! But Rhynchorhina mauritaniensis is a real animal - recently discovered in 2016!
If the scientific name gives any hint, they are found in the North-East Atlantic off of... you guessed it. Mauritania! A benthic species that gets up to at least 2.24 metres in total length (TL), they probably have a restricted range as the few specimens caught were done so in shallow water on a sandy shoal. They may have a similar diet other wedgefish (invertebrates, crustaceans, small bony fish) but we just don't know yet.
Usually a dark grey (or green-brown) color on top, their underbelly is a creamy color. They sort of remind me of whale sharks with the smattering of white dots throughout its body, almost looking like a constellation. A rounded, blunt snout makes it different from other wedgefish, and they have thorns on the ridges above their eyes, spiracles, shoulders, and the mid-line of their back.
The IUCN has not assessed this animal.
EVER HEARD OF THE ANIMAL?
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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