We love skates—and this one is no exception! The sandpaper skate, known scientifically as Bathyraja kincaidii, is “commonly found at depths of 200–500 m, but is usually found in deeper water in the southern portion of its range, possibly to 1,372 m” according to the IUCN webpage. With this range, that means they are probably found on the continental shelf to upper slope and may like mud-cobble substrates like many other skates. This is helpful when females go to lay their eggs, which they could possibly bury in this silty bottom. Here, they may be preyed upon by mollusks that bore holes in them to feed on the nourishing yolk-sac.
This week, we want to introduce you to the fatspine spurdog (Squalus crassispinus), a pale grey dogfish in the family Squalidae. They have a blunt, short snout and medium-sized eyes. Often tinged with a bronze-like color, they have a snowy white belly and dark tips on their dorsal fins and a white margin on the caudal fin. Like others in the Squalidae family, they have robust, smooth dorsal fin spines.
The Australian Cownose Ray, Rhinoptera neglecta, has been observed in the north/east coast of Australia. They belong to the Rhinoptera family, and this family occurs in tropical and subtropical seas worldwide, often found entering estuaries. They should not be confused with the second species of cownose ray that occurs in Australian waters, the Javanese Cownose Ray, Rhinoptera javanica.
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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