Temporal range: Late Cretaceous–Recent 
|Arctic skate, Amblyraja hyperborea|
Skates are cartilaginous fish belonging to the family Rajidae in the superorder Batoidea of rays. More than 200 species have been described, in 27 genera. The two subfamilies are Rajinae (hardnose skates) and Arhynchobatinae (softnose skates).
Skates versus stingrays
Superficially, skates and stingrays appear somewhat similar.
However, there are fundamental differences.
|Comparison of skates and stingrays|
|Reproduction||Skates are oviparous, that is they lay eggs. Their fertilized eggs are laid in a protective hard case called a mermaid's purse.||Rays are viviparous, that is, they bear their young inside their bodies and give birth to them alive.|||
|Dorsal fin||Distinct||Missing or vestigial|||
|Pelvic fins||Fins are divided into two lobes||Fins have one lobe|||
|Tail||Fleshy tails which lack spines||Whip-like with one or two stinging spines|||
|Protection||Rely on "thorny projections on their backs and tails for protection from predators"||Rely on their stinging spines or barbs for protection|||
|Teeth||Small||"Plate-like teeth adapted for crushing prey"|||
|Size||Usually smaller than rays||Usually larger than skates|||
|Colour||Often drab, brown or gray (but not always)||Often boldly patterned (but not always)|||
|Habitat||Often deep water (but not always)||Often shallow water (but not always)|||
Skates have slow growth rates and, since they mature late, low reproductive rates. As a result, skates are vulnerable to overfishing and appear to have been overfished and are suffering reduced population levels in many parts of the world. The barndoor skate, Raja laevis, is currently listed with the IUCN as vulnerable due to being severely overfished. However, population data are lacking to determine the exploitation of the big skate at this time.
In 2010, Greenpeace International added the barndoor skate, bottlenose skate, spotback skate, and maltese skate to its seafood red list. "The Greenpeace International seafood red list is a list of fish that are commonly sold in supermarkets around the world, and which have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries."
New Zealand smooth skate
- Jenny Haniver, a fake sea monster created from a skate corpse
- Mokpo city of South Korea is famous for its skate cuisine.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2009). "Rajidae" in FishBase. January 2009 version.
- Ichthyology: Ray and Skate Basics Florida Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- Skate or Ray? ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research. Retrieved 212 March 2013.
- Florida Museum of Natural History
- Greenpeace International Seafood Red list
|Wikispecies has information related to: Rajidae|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rajidae.|
|Look up skate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikibooks Cookbook has a recipe/module on|
- ARKive - images and movies of the common skate (Dipturus batis)
- Kliman, Todd. "Skate Goes From Trash Fish to Treasure", Washingtonian, May 1, 2006.
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