Meet Rhina: The Guitarfish

Guitarfish: LadyD Books

The guitarfish are a family, Rhinobatidae, of rays. The guitarfish are known for an elongated body with a flattened head and trunk and small ray like wings. The combined range of the various species is tropical, subtropical and temperate waters worldwide. They often travel in large schools.

elongated body of the guitarfish: LadyD Books

Guitarfishes have a body form intermediate between those of sharks and rays. The tail has a typical shark-like form, but in many species, the head has a triangular, or guitar-like shape, rather than the disc-shaped formed by fusion with the pectoral fin found in other rays. More information can be found at Wikipedia

guitarfish surfacing the pacific ocean

The shovelnose guitarfish has an unusual body shape, intermediate between that of a shark and a ray, and is named for its long, pointed, shovel-like snout and broad disc, with wide pectoral fins that give the body a distinctive triangular shape. The tail is relatively thick, with a moderately large caudal fin that lacks a distinct lower lobe, and there are two equal-sized dorsal fins located towards the tail. A row of thorny projections runs along the mid-line of the back and tail. The shovelnose guitarfish ranges from olive to sandy brown in color, with white underparts, and a clear, somewhat translucent area on either side of the snout. More information at Shovelnose Guitarfish.

Oceanside Pier: LadyD Books

I just happened to be taking a stroll out on the Oceanside pier... watching the fisherman bring up their daily catch is always exciting. This time, I wasn't quite sure what I was looking at. One of the locals told me that the shovelnose is always hanging around the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and most guys release them back into the water. I was fortunate to get a few photos of this guitarfish. I think he or she is appropriately named. I have called her, "Rhina."

Have you come across a shark or two? I've heard that some folks eat the tail while others fillet the fins for good eating. I've eaten thresher shark before but not this particular fish.

Photos for Skywatch Friday

Here's an interesting read on The Biology of Sharks and Rays

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind." -- Matthew 13:47

 “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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