Tag: Sharks, Skates and Rays (Elasmobranchii)

Elasmobranchii is one of the two subclasses of cartilaginous fish in the class Chondrichthyes, the other being Holocephali (Chimaeras).

The main features that set Elasmobranchs apart from the vast majority of other fish groups are the lack of a swim bladder, a cartilaginous skeleton and skin comprising tiny "tooth-like" structures called dermal denticles, rather than the typical scales found on most other fish species.

Due to the relatively small number of species found in local waters, i decided to group the sharks, skates and rays together.

I've also added the family group to all three categories (Reef, Pelagic and Benthic) as there are species which inhabit one particular zone but not the others eg. Stingrays are obviously Benthic whilst Whale Sharks are typically Pelagic.

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Elasmobranchii is one of the two subclasses of cartilaginous fish in the class Chondrichthyes, the other being Holocephali (Chimaeras).

The main features that set Elasmobranchs apart from the vast majority of other fish groups are the lack of a swim bladder, a cartilaginous skeleton and skin comprising tiny "tooth-like" structures called dermal denticles, rather than the typical scales found on most other fish species.

Due to the relatively small number of species found in local waters, i decided to group the sharks, skates and rays together.

I've also added the family group to all three categories (Reef, Pelagic and Benthic) as there are species which inhabit one particular zone but not the others eg. Stingrays are obviously Benthic whilst Whale Sharks are typically Pelagic.

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Alan's picture
Whale Shark T-047

In this shot of Whale Shark T-047, taken at Sail Rock, the healed scars on the caudal fin are visible.

Alan's picture
Whale Shark T-047

This photo of Whale Shark T-047, taken at Sail Rock, clearly shows the unusual scrape marks on her underside.

Alan's picture
Whale Shark T-044

Although the left side is the shot that will generate an identification number for a previously unsighted Whale Shark, a good right side is also very important in case the shark is seen in the future and only the right side is photographed.

Johnny Williams did a great job in getting clear photos of both sides of this individual

Alan's picture
Whale Shark T-052

This left-side shot, focusing on the area between the gills and the rear edge of the pectoral fin is the perfect zone for spot identification using the Ecocean Whale Shark project database.

Alan's picture
Whale Shark T-052

Whale Shark (Rhincodon Typus) T-052 is a small, 2 - 3m female that appeared at Sail Rock in October 2009. Dr. Dhanin Hiriotappa (Taeng to everyone) is an excellent underwater photographer and thankfully she got these perfect shots which led to this shark receiving a unique indentification number via the Whale Shark project.

Alan's picture
Whale Shark T-051

Whale Shark T-051 turns and gently descends into deeper water during this encounter at Sail Rock.

Alan's picture
Whale Shark T-051

The visibility at Sail Rock was not so good on the day that Whale Shark T-051 appeared, however it was just about possible to get the shots required for "spot-mapping" and subsequent identification.

Alan's picture
Whale Shark T-045

Unfortunately, this photograph of Whale Shark T-045 shows the damage being caused by the piece of rope attached around the base of her tail. The cut at this point is already deep, and the rope could potentially remain in place for a number of years...

Alan's picture
Whale Shark T-045

This left-side photograph of Whale Shark T-045 gives a good view of her unusual line patterns.

Alan's picture
Whale Shark T-042

Whale Shark (Rhincodon Typus) T-042, passes overhead during an encounter at Sail Rock.