Spotted ratfish

Natural History

These fish have smooth skin, large green eyes, a rabbitlike face and a mouth with plate-like grinding teeth. The tail is tiny and streamer-like, so for propulsion they flap their large, wing-like pectoral fins. Ratfish cruise just above the seafloor searching for crunchy food like crabs and clams.

Spotted ratfish are among the deepest-living fishes in Monterey Bay. They are related to sharks and are considered the missing link between the bony and cartilainous fishes because they have the characteristics of both.

Conservation

Ratfish are caught accidentally in trawl fisheries.

Cool Facts

These fish have a long venemous spine in front of the dorsal fin.