Barndoor Skate Facts
- Perhaps most notably, the Barndoor Skate did not have the distinction of being known as a separate species until 1898. In addition, the fascinating animal is one of the largest known skates found in any ocean.
- Sadly, however, as recently as the early 1990’s, this creature nearly suffered a tragic fate. That’s because it nearly became another one of the earth’s species to vanish forever, as a result of commercial fishing.
- But, its current listing by the IUCN is Endangered, and reflects the population growth thanks to some protective measures. Its estimated population is now nearly what it was prior to the 1960’s when intense commercial fishing of species began.
Barndoor Skate Physical Description
Firstly, the impressive Barndoor Skate attains an average body length of slightly less than 5 ft (1.5 m). However, exceptional specimens of the species sometimes reach lengths of as much as 6.5 ft (2 m).
Meanwhile, the body of the animal grows relatively large. But, rather surprisingly, its tail develops comparatively short. In addition, an average weight of the remarkable creature equals about 40 lb (18 kg).
Additionally, the body shape evolved as extremely flattened, and rather rounded. This trait it shares with related species. It, like related creatures evolved as boneless fish, and the skeletons are composed of cartilage.
Further, its eyes developed on the upper surface and quite close together. The upper body appears primarily brown or reddish brown and is often covered with dark spots and light streaks. Yet, the underside ranges from white to a light gray in color.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Chondrichthyes
- Order: Rajiformes
- Genus: Dipturus
- Species: D. laevis
Barndoor Skate Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
First of all, the impressive Barndoor Skate evolved as endemic to the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, near North America. Its range extends to Newfoundland in the north, and as far south as North Carolina, in the United States.
Also, the species lives anywhere between the shoreline and depths of as much as 2,460 ft (750 m). Most individuals, however, typically inhabit sandy, rocky, and muddy portions of the ocean floor.
Furthermore, it feeds as a carnivore, and its diet consists of a wide range of fish and invertebrates. It primarily catches its prey through the pursuit, yet will also dig it out of the sandy sea bottom.
Finally, the potential lifespan measures quite long compared to other skates. Individuals have shown lifespans of as much as 18 years. But, most specimens do not live quite this long.