Barndoor Skate Facts
- The Barndoor Skate did not have the distinction as a separate species until 1898. It is one of the largest known skates found in any ocean.
- As recently as the early 1990’s, this creature nearly became another one of the earth’s species to vanish forever, as a result of commercial fishing.
- Their current listing by the IUCN is “Endangered,” and reflects the population growth thanks to some protective measures. Their estimated population is now nearly what it was prior to the 1960’s when intense commercial fishing of species began.
Barndoor Skate Physical Description
The Barndoor Skate attains an average body length of slightly less than 5 ft (1.5 m). Exceptional specimens may reach lengths of as much as 6.5 ft (2 m).
While the body is relatively large, the tail is comparatively short. In addition, an average weight is approximately 40 lb (18 kg).
Their body shape is extremely flattened, and rather rounded, the same as all skates.
They are a species of boneless fish, and their skeletons are composed of cartilage. The eyes are on the upper surface and are quite close together. The upper body is primarily brown or reddish brown and is often covered with dark spots and light streaks. The underside ranges from white to a light gray in color.
Species: D. laevis
Barndoor Skate Habitat and Ecology
This species may live anywhere between the shoreline and depths of as much as 2,460 ft (750 m). They typically inhabit sandy, rocky, and muddy portions of the ocean floor.
This fish is carnivorous, and their diet consists of a wide range of fish and invertebrates. They primarily catch their prey through the pursuit, yet will also dig them out of the sandy sea bottom.
The lifespan is long compared to other skates. Individuals have shown lifespans of as much as 18 years.