Animals / Fishes - All Types of Fish Species / Chimaeras, Sharks, Skates and Rays

Chimaeras, Sharks, Skates and Rays

nice colored orange

Banded Wobbegong


Chimaeras, sharks, skates and rays are the class of fishes whose skeleton is made of cartilage, a tough, flexible supporting tissue. Sharks, skates and rays have gills that open to the outside, have no swim bladder and have a sandpaper rough skin covering rather than scales.




Source: Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife


Despite the fact that skates and rays greatly outnumber their shark relatives, they receive far less recognition. There are about 513 species of skates and rays compared to about 390 species of sharks. There are such stunning specimens in this group such as stingrays, electric rays, guitarfishes and sawfishes. Sharks are topics of books, television programs, documentaries and in the news whereas people take very little notice of the skates and rays.


nice teeth specimen

Sawfish - look at those teeth.


This group is blessed with well-named species and with species named after other animals and things, check these names out: carpet shark, mud shark, nurse shark, hammerhead shark, tiger shark, zebra shark, catshark, goblin shark, houndshark, whale shark and cow shark. Then there are the spotted wobbegong, dogfish, ratfish, sawfish, guitarfish, butterfly ray and torpedo ray!


albino rat fish

Albino Ratfish


Chimaeras and ratfishes are a small group somewhat between sharks and bony fishes. Chimaeras have large heads and long bodies that taper to a whip-like tail. The skin is smooth and rubbery without scales. The ratfish's teeth, body shape and a long slender tail do indeed make it appear to be an aquatic rat.



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