About Ray and Skate Edit
Several species of ray are found around the Welsh and British coasts, ranging from the huge, to much smaller species like the Spotted and Smalleye Rays. These are the beautiful animals commonly seen in public aquariums. Ray and skate fish are part of the Raja genus and Rajidae family. Skates are cartilaginous fishes belonging to the family Rajidae in the superorder Batoidea of rays. They are carnivorous, feeding mostly on smaller fish and crustaceans. They have flat pectoral fins continuous with their head, two dorsal fins and a short, spineless tail.They are benthic and are found throughout the world from continental shelves down to the abyssal zone. They are oviparous fishes, laying eggs in a horny case known as a mermaid's purse. It is thought that egg-laying in skates is an evolutionary reversal, that is, skates are descended from ovoviviparous ancestors. Most are flattened and more or less disk- or diamond- shaped, with large, winglike pectoral fins. The tail is generally slender and sometimes long and whiplike. In many species the tail has at least one sharp, venomous spine. Most of the skates and rays propel themselves with a graceful undulating movement of their pectoral fins, taking in water for respiration through large openings on the upper surface of the body, rather than through the mouth as sharks do.