Ratfish • Earth.com Ratfish Earth.com

A single ratfish glides over the cobble bottom at 81 m water depth. They are related to sharks, rays, and skates, in that their skeletal structure is composed of cartilage instead of bone.

The ratfish is  found in the north-eastern Pacific Ocean. Often seen by divers at night in the Pacific Northwest, this cartilaginous fish gets its characteristic name from a pointed rat-like tail.

The ratfish lays leathery egg cases on the bottom of muddy or sandy areas. Therefore  mainly a deep-water species, it occurs at shallower depths in the northern part of its range.

Most common in much of its range, not typically eaten by humans (the flesh is bland with an unpleasant aftertaste), and not commercially caught.

Lewis and Clark Legacy: June 26-July 13, 2001

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