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Skates & Rays Skates and rays are both cartilaginous fishes that are related to the sharks.
Skates & Rays All members have enlarged pectoral fins that are used for swimming much like birds in flight.
Skates & Rays Also, all members are bottom- dwellers and have their mouths on their underside or ventral surface.
Skates & Rays Skates, like the local clearnose skate, are fairly small compared to the stingrays. Rays are rarely over 2.5 feet long.
Skates & Rays Stingrays, on the other hand, can weigh in the hundreds of pounds.
Skates & Rays Stingrays have sharp spines on their elongate tails, while skates do not.
Skates & Rays These spines are not only poisonous, but they are covered with backward pointing barbs, much like a fish hook.
Skates & Rays The greatest danger, however, is from infection if stepped on not from the poison.
Skates & Rays Skates tend to have a tail with a small dorsal fin near the end of its tail, while the stingrays tail is long and thin.
Skates & Rays Both stingrays and skates are bottom feeders where they eat crustaceans, mollusks, and other benthic organisms.
Skates & Rays Skates lay eggs like this egg case below. These can often be found along our ocean and bay beaches.
Skates & Rays Stingrays usually give birth to their offspring and do not lay eggs
Skates & Rays Certain types of stingrays can often be seen near the surface with their two pectoral fins out of the water.
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