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Sharks Chimaeras Skates and Rays: Chondrichthyes

Physical Characteristics, Chimaeras, Sharks, Skates, Rays, And People, Conservation Status, Spotted Ratfish (hydrolagus Colliei): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, BEHAVIOR AND REPRODUCT

SPOTTED RATFISH (Hydrolagus colliei): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
TIGER SHARK (Galeocerdo cuvier): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
WHITE SHARK (Carcharodon carcharias): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
ATLANTIC MANTA (Manta birostris): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
CLEARNOSE SKATE (Raja eglanteria): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Chimaeras, sharks, and skates and rays live all over the world except in the Antarctic region.


Chimaeras usually live on muddy bottoms near the shore. Sharks live in coastal waters on the bottom or out at sea in open water or at the bottom. Skates and rays live on the bottom in saltwater or freshwater or move back and forth between the two.


Chimaeras eat bottom-dwelling animals such as crabs, clams, and fishes. Some sharks are fierce predators (PREH-duh-terz) that hunt and eat every sort of sea animal. Others simply strain plankton, the microscopic (MY-kro-SKA-pihk), invisible to the eye, plants and animals that drift in bodies of water. Most skates and rays eat bottom-dwelling shelled animals and bony fishes.


All chimaeras, sharks, and skates and rays reproduce by internal fertilization (FUR-teh-lih-zay-shun), meaning egg and sperm unite inside the female. Some species lay fertilized (FUR-teh-lyezd) eggs, and the young develop outside the mother. In other species the young develop inside the mother, hatch within the mother, and are born freely swimming. Chimaeras, sharks, and skates and rays engage in parental care before laying eggs or giving birth to pups.


Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded Vertebrates