The Fins United Initiative is excited to bring the "Underrated Elasmobranch Spotlight" series through TFUI officer Jess Myers. Learn about the sharks not shown on the big screen through her beautiful artwork!
Next up on our Underrated Elasmobranch list is a Rajiforme found in Eastern Atlantic subtropical waters – the Common Skate (Dipturus batis).
While this species usually grows to about 1m (~3 ft), the largest specimen found was 2.85 m (almost 9 ft) across!! They are demersal animals, meaning they spend most of their time on the ocean floor. The common skate has been found as deep as 1000 m (3000 ft), though they are normally found between 100 and 200 m (300-600 ft) deep. Females lay about 40 eggs each year – the egg casings are just like the “mermaids’ purses” you might find on the beach! Young common skates have been known to follow large objects in an attempt to follow their mother.
Common skates are listed as critically endangered on the ICUN Red List. They are fished directly and get caught as bycatch. Because of they mature late in life, it is difficult for them to support the population.
what underrated chondrichthyan do you think shark week should showcase?
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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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