Arctic skate, Raja hyperborea.
Arctic Skate, Raja hyperborea

The arctic skate is found from Baffin Island east to Greenland and the Barents Sea. It closely resembles the thorny skate, but the arctic skate actually has about 10 more thorns on its midline and tail than the thorny skate! The arctic skate is dark grey to brown on its dorsal surface with occasional light or dark spotting. The smooth underside of this skate is white in juveniles, but gradually darkens and is almost black in adults. Its back is covered in prickles, except for a few smooth areas to either side of its midline and in the centres of its pectoral fins. It has 33–48 rows of teeth and grows to a length of 87 cm. When the arctic skate spawns it produces an egg-case which is dark brown to golden in colour, has lateral flanges, and is covered in silky hairs. Its egg cases are 8.1–12.5 cm long by 5.4–7.7 cm wide, excluding the horns which project from the corners of each case. Arctic skates live in cold waters around 0C, between 300–2500 m deep. They are fairly common and eat crustaceans, fishes, and cephalopods.