Skate Dissection|| A Mermaid's Purse
What’s the difference between skates and rays? Find out as you learn how to dissect a skate in this video, which also covers its external and internal anatomy and physiology. In this simple dissection of a skate, you’ll learn various parts of its anatomy, what exactly a ‘mermaid purse’ is, and why a skate’s liver floats in water.
Skates are one of the most underrated animals among the cartilaginous fishes, often overshadowed by their flashier cousins– rays and sharks. However, did you know that skates have many unique features neither rays nor sharks possess, such as their distinctive method of laying eggs within rectangular leathery sacs? In this video, you’ll learn general information about skates, which will be tied into their anatomical structures and physiological importance.
This dissection lab is for anyone who is curious about skate anatomy, wants to cover skate anatomy for a zoology course, missed the skate dissection during biology class, or just wondered, “How are skates different from rays?”. The video will teach you how to dissect a skate step by step, and review the external and internal anatomy of the skate.
In these videos, we’ll cover the following structures:
Gill slits Cardiac stomach
Mouth Pyloric stomach
Nostrils Pyloric valve
Rostrum (snout) Spiral valve
Pectoral fins Pancreas
Pelvic fins Rectal gland
Cloaca Fallopian tube
Claspers [mentioned] Uterus
Heart Egg sac
Gill filaments Cerebral hemispheres
Gill rakers Olfactory nerves
Sinus venosus Optic lobe
Conus arteriosus Cerebellum
Part 1: External Anatomy & Thoracic Cavity
Part 2: Abdominal Cavity & Cranial Cavity
If you want to learn more about skate anatomy, here’s a link to a website with more detailed information, as well as diagrams:
If you have any questions regarding skate anatomy, dissection methodology, or general biology, feel free to leave a comment. We'll try our best to reply.