Price range: 45 - 45 MXN / 1 kg | Market: Fish Markets of Zapopan, Jalisco | Date: 2021-09-24
Guitarfish have a flattened forebody with pectoral fins fused to the sides of the head. The mind-body resembles that of a shark, with two dorsal fins and a well-developed caudal fin.
The skin is thick and tough on top but soft underneath; this has earned them the name "sandpaper fish." Skin color varies from dark gray to pale pink and is often mottled or spotted. Some guitarfish have yellow spots or bands. The tail is without a spine and the mouth lacks lower teeth and barbels. The guitarfish has been described as looking like a shark, but with the skin of an elephant; it also resembles an elongate.
The guitarfish can move its head and pectoral fins in all directions thanks to flexible joints, but it cannot swim backward. These fish are considered harmless to humans because their teeth are fused into a beak-like structure making it impossible to bite.
Guitarfish often bury themselves in the sand with only eyes and spiracles above the surface. They eat small fish and mollusks such as clams and oysters, which they crush using their tooth plates.
The genus Rhinobatos (the only genus in this family) was first described by Achille Valenciennes in 1817. The name comes from the Greek "rhinos" meaning nose and "batis" meaning a flatfish like the skate.
The guitarfish is similar in appearance to the closely related wedge fish, Rhinobatus (Rhinobatidae). The two families are distinguished by skeletal features and by tooth plates shaped differently.
Guitarfish typically have a single pair of rostral barbels anterior to the mouth, but sometimes form pairs of rostral barbels. They have no dorsal spines, with 18–21 soft dorsal rays and 15-17 anal soft rays.
Adult guitarfish are typically brownish in color with darker lateral stripes or mottling, although some individuals are uniform in color. The maximum size is 110 cm TL for the Atlantic guitarfish, Rhinobatos lentiginosus.
The Biology of Marine Fishes states that "Guitarfishes are generally found near reefs or in sandy flats, burying themselves in the sand with only their eyes and spiracles above the surface." They are considered "harmless to humans because their teeth are fused into a beak-like structure, which makes it impossible for the fish to bite."
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