; superorder Batoidimorpha, order Rajiformes)
A large family of marine rays that have a relatively short tail with one or two dorsal fins, and ending in a blunt tip without a caudal fin. The wide body or disc is angular in shape, often showing a pointed snout (rostrum). Male skates usually show enlarged denticles on the dorsal surface (thorny back). The fish reproduce by laying eggs encased in rectangular, horny capsules which are sometimes found among the flotsam on the beach. There are about 120 species, distributed world-wide.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.