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Temporal range: Late Jurassic
Spathobatis bugesiacus.JPG
Spathobatis bugesiacus in the Paläontologische Museum München
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Superorder: Batoidea
Order: Rajiformes
Genus: Spathobatis
Thiollière 1849

Aellopos Münster, 1836 (homonym)

Spathobatis is an extinct genus of ray from the Jurassic period of Europe.

Spathobatis had a body similar to that of a modern guitarfish, being highly flattened and widened, specializing the creature for a life on the ocean floor. Although it is one of the earliest known fossil rays, it already resembled modern forms in a number of ways. Like them, its eyes and spiracles were located atop the head, its mouth and gill slits were positioned on the underside of the body, and it had greatly expanded pectoral fins for swimming.[1]

Distinctive features of Spathobatis included flattened teeth, suitable for eating shellfish, and an elongated snout that was presumably used to probe for food on the muddy sea floor.[1]


  1. ^ a b Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 28. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.