5 Interesting Facts About Barndoor Skates

Barndoor Skate, Dipturus laevis. Released by-catch from Georges Bank, Rhode Island, North Atlantic Ocean.

Here is a barndoor skate looking for a fish to eat

Today I want to write about an amazing relative of the sharks and rays, the barndoor skate.

Here are five interesting facts about them:

  1. These large skates grow up to 1.5 metres long, making them the largest species of skate in the northwest Atlantic.
  2. Barndoor skates are carnivores, eating a wide range of fish and invertebrates that they find in the sea floor.
  3. Strangely, the males and females have very different teeth.  The males’ teeth are widely spaced and are quite sharp, while the females have more rounded teeth that are spaced further apart.
  4. They attach their eggs to hard surfaces on the seafloor.  They lay up to 115 eggs every year and the eggs are 16 cm long.  The babies hatch well developed and start hunting from the first day.
  5. Barndoor skates are found along the Atlantic coast of Canada and the United States and used to be very common, but were hunted almost to extinction.  It seems as though their numbers are slowly improving.

I hope that you found these facts interesting and learned something new.

Are there any other interesting facts that you would like to share about barndoor skates?

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