In situ observations of deep-living skates

Published on
09. September 2019

In situ observations of deep-living skates in the eastern North Pacific

L.A. Kuhnz, J.J. Bizzarro, D.A .Ebert


We report on 18 years of in situ observations of seven skate species (2192 individual observations) in the eastern North Pacific (Vancouver Island, Canada to the Gulf of California, Mexico) between 200 and 3322 m depth. Biological (species, sex, maturity, behavior) and abiotic (geographic location, depth, habitat type, temperature, oxygen) data were evaluated for each species. This study extends the depth and geographic ranges of Bathyraja microtrachys and B. trachura. Additional species studied include Amblyraja hyperborea, B. abyssicola, B. kincaidii, B. spinosissima, and Beringraja rhina. Bathyraja trachura was shown to be uniquely tolerant of low oxygen environments and B. spinosissima is distinctive in that it was most frequently found actively swimming over lava fields. Our video recording of a potentially undescribed species at 3321 m represents the deepest reported in situ visual observation of a skate to date.

Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, DOI 10.1016/j.dsr.2019.103104


Leave a Reply