Elkhorn Slough Elasmobranch Project
Species List: Thornback Ray
Thornback rays are supposedly
rare in the Elkhorn Slough,
however the PSRF has identified a
series of sites that periodically
hold large numbers of them.
Almost all thornback rays
captured in the slough are adult
This species is one of the
senior extent species of vertebrate
on the planet, having remained
almost unchanged in hundreds
of millions of years; a true living
fossil. Literally nothing is known
about Thornback ray reproductive, migratory, or food habits in the
Elkhorn Slough. Tag and release studies are an excellent tool for
studying these obscure and ancient creatures.
- Talent (1985) found thornback rays to be rare in Elkhorn Slough. Only one individual was caught during Talent's study, and this was a mature male. Only two individuals were caught in 17 Elkhorn Slough shark derbies.
- PSRF has recorded 247 thornback rays in Elkhorn Slough in the last two seasons of sampling alone.
- Nothing is known about thornback ray reproductive, migratory, or food habits in the Elkhorn Slough.