Familia Squatinidae


By C. Roux

General form halfway between sharks and rays. Head broad and flattened, with mouth terminal and wide. Nostril openings large, above the mouth, with broad flaps covering them. Eyes dorsal, with free eyelids; no nictitating eyelid; large spiracles behind the eyes; 5 gill openings on each side before pectoral bases. Pectoral fins broad, extending forward, but separate from head; pelvic fins wide; two dorsal fins; no anal fin; tail with lower caudal lobe longer than upper. Skin covered by dermal denticles, which are conical, broad-based on back and flanks; those on belly flat, each with a scale-like blade; sometimes, on upper surfaces, some spiny tubercles.
Bottom-living sharks which bury in sand and gravelly bottoms; they are, however, active swimmers. Ovoviviparous.

Genus 1.