; subclass Elasmobranchii, order Rajiformes)
A small family of marine rays that have large, wing-like, pectoral fins with pointed tips. The elevated head, with its large eyes, stands clear of the disc formed by the pectorals. A small dorsal fin, but no caudal fin, is found on the whip-like tail; this is longer than the body and may bear a venomous spine just behind the dorsal fin. Although usually feeding near the bottom of the sea, eagle rays are active swimmers, sometimes making spectacular jumps out of the water. There are about 15 species, distributed world-wide.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.