In February 2016, Maria Lombard stumbled upon something unusual at Waitarere: the remains of... well, something. While most people wondered if this belonged to some sort of dragon, Te Papa got on the case to correctly identify the animal: the endemic smooth skate, Dipturus innominatus.
Te Papa advised the remains were the brain case and vertebrae of the animal also known as the New Zealand smooth skate, which belongs to the genus Dipturus. It is widespread throughout New Zealand waters, found from 15 m to 1300 m deep but rarely go deeper than 800 m. They can reach up to 2.4 m in length.
Not much else was found about these animals, but they are long living creatures (more than 24 years of age) and females do not mature until around 13 years of age. It is therefore considered to be Near Threatened (NT) by the IUCN.
ever heard of this skate?
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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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