Thornback Ray

Raja clavata
Thornback Ray

Habitat: Sandy sea floor
Depth: Shallow to 200m
Food: Crustaceans and bottom living animals
Length: Up to 130cm
Lifespan: 15 years
Conservation Status: Near Threatened (NT)

This ray is blotchy brown in colour and gets its name from the thorns down its tail. Lying on the seabed, it covers itself in sand and pounces on crabs and shrimps. Its eyes are on top of its head and spiracles underneath enable it to breathe. The female thornback ray lays eggs called mermaids’ purses. You can see baby rays in the shark nursery.

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