Shovelnose rays are a group of rays that are characterized by their shovel-like snout. They have a flat body with a broad head and a wide mouth. They have a smooth skin that is usually brown, gray or blue-gray in color.
The size of the shovelnose rays can vary depending on the species, but they typically grow to be between 30 to 150 cm (1 to 5 ft) in length and can weigh between 2 to 15 kg (4.4 to 33 lb).
Shovelnose rays are found in a variety of habitats including freshwater and saltwater environments. Some species are found in rivers and estuaries, while others are found in the open ocean. They are found in tropical, subtropical and temperate waters around the world.
Shovelnose rays are opportunistic feeders and their diet can vary depending on the species and the environment they live in. They typically feed on a variety of small fish, crustaceans, and mollusks.
Shovelnose rays are typically solitary animals, but they can also be found in small groups. They are generally slow-moving and spend most of their time lying on the bottom of the water. They are not considered to be aggressive, but they will defend themselves if they feel threatened.
Species in this order are slow growing, late bloomers in maturity, as well as poor at reproduction, this combination creates a bit of trouble for their survivability. There are concerns about their risk for extinction.
Families in this order:
- Glaucostegidae (giant guitarfishes)
- Pristidae (sawfishes)
- Rhinidae (wedgefishes)
- Rhinobatidae (guitarfishes)
- Trygonorrhinidae (banjo rays)
Additional families are associated, but their relationships are not fully resolved yet:
- Platyrhinidae (fanrays)
- Zanobatidae (panrays)