Boschung, Herbert T. Formerly, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
- Rhinobatidae (guitarfishes)
- Rajidae (skates)
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
One of the four orders making up the Batoidei group of fishes. Aside from the few exceptions noted below (mostly in the family Rajidae), the combination of characters distinguishing the order Rajiformes from other batoids are a single unbranched rostral process on the front of the cranium, extending to the tip of the snout; antorbital (in front of the eye socket) cartilage that does not extend forward to help support the anterior part of the disk; two dorsal fins on the tail; lack of spines on the tail; lack of electric organs; a snout that is not a long flat blade; a head lacking anterior finlike expansions of the pectoral fins; and ovoviviparous reproduction. The food consumed by rajiforms consists of various crustaceans, mollusks, and small fishes.
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