RHINOBATOS : GUITAR FISH

CLASSIFICATION of RHINOBATOS : GUITAR FISH

Phylum :- CHORDATA ( Notochord and dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill-slits present).

Group :- CRANIATA ( Cranium with brain present ).

Subphylum :- VERTEBRATA (Vertebral column present ).

Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present ).

Super class :- PISCES (Paired fins , gills and skin with scales)

Class :-  CHONDRICHTHYES { =ELASMOBRANCHI } (Endoskeleton cartilaginous. Scales usually placoid. spiral valve in intestine ).

Sub-class :- SELACHI (Sharks and rays. Gills in seperate clefts. Cloaca present).

Order :- HYPOTREMATA { = BATOIDAE } (Gills-slits ventral. spiracles present. dorsal fin on tail, if present)

Family :- PRISTIDAE (Pectoral fin elongated and joined to sides of the body).

Genus :- Rhinobatos

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION

Rhinobatos has been reported from west coast of Africa, Indian Ocean, Australia, China, Atlantic and Pacific coasts of America and Galapagos. Mostly distributed tropical and sub-tropical seas.

HABIT AND HABITAT

It is a bottom dweller. Guitarfish are bottom feeders that bury themselves in mud or sand and eat worms, crabs, and clams. Some can tolerate salt, fresh, and brackish water. They generally live close to the beach/coastline or in estuaries.

RHINOBATOS : GUITAR FISH

GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF RHINOBATOS : GUITAR FISH

  • Commonly called as Guitar fish, due to its guitar-like shape. Body divided in head, trunk and tail.
  • Guitarfish have a body form intermediate between those of sharks and rays.
  • Sub-rhombic head tapers into a triangular snout or rostrum.
  • Pectoral fins greatly expanded along the head and trunk and consequently body assumes sub-rhombic shape. Head and body are dorsoventrally compressed.
  • Entire back contains a median row of minute denticles.
  • Head contains a pair of eyes and a pair of spiracles closely placed to pair of eyes
  • Gill-slits 5 pairs, situated ventrally.
  • Tail is elongated with a caudal fin and a longitudinal fold of skin on each side.
  • Paired pelvic fins near pectoral fins. First and second dorsal fins near tail region.
  • Guitarfish, belong to the ancient lineage of cartilaginous fishes.
  • Guitarfish are ovoviviparous; the embryo matures inside an egg inside the mother until it is ready to hatch. This is typical of rays.

ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE

It has edible value.

SPECIAL FEATURES

The fish exists from Upper Jurassic. The complete skeleton of Rhinobatus has been obtained from lithographic stone of Bavaria. Body intermediate between shark and skate. 

IDENTIFICATION

Since this fish has guitar-shaped body and above features, hence it is Rhinobatos.

REFERENCES

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