Skates

Skates  (Raia batis ).—A group of fishes, closely related to the sharks, but having the body flattened from above downward, and with the anterior fins so united to the side of the head and the body that it has a rhomboid appearance and the tail seems like an inconsiderable appendage. The mouth and the gill openings are on the under surface. The animals are bottom feeders, living on clams and mussels, buried in the mud. In Europe some of the smaller species are used for food. Another has a large electric battery on either side of the head, capable of giving very strong shocks. This is called the torpedo.