Watch an awesome postmortem examination of a giant skate (a.k.a. a "stepped-on shark")

Fair warning (in case the headline wasn't warning enough): this video serves up a hefty helping of elasmobranch guts. The squeamish among you might want to look the other way.

Still with us? Awesome. Now do yourself a favor and check out this brief but very interesting video of an impromptu dissection of a Raja binoculata, the world's largest species of skate.

Skates (like their look-alikes, stingrays) belong to a subclass of cartilaginous fishes known as elasmobranchs. Sharks are elasmobranchs, too; in the video up top, marine biologist Chris Harvey-Clark refers to skates as "stepped on sharks."


They're delightfully weird animals, both genetically (last year, researchers discovered that members of elsmobranchii are the only known jawed vertebrates on Earth that are missing a portion of their genome known as the HoxC gene cluster — a hugely important section of genetic code that was once thought to be indispensable) and physiologically. For instance: did you know that skates have eversible jaws? I sure as hell didn't.

[UWVIDEO1 via Deep Sea News]

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skates have "eversible" jaws, or "reversible" jaws?

Not being a snarky corrector here, just want to be sure its not a term I've never heard of.