Language English The Gulf of St. Lawrence Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme OngletsDescriptionDistinguishing featuresThis skate has a flattened body, a pointed snout and fairly smooth skin. There are several mucous pores marked with black spots on its ventral surface, and several rows of spines on its tail. ReproductionSpawning occurs in winter. Fertilization is internal. The eggs of the barndoor skate are encased in yellowish capsules that are 12.7 cm long and 7 cm wide. DietThese fish eat invertebrates, including bivalve molluscs, crabs, lobster, shrimp and worms. They also eat various types of fish, including spiny dogfish, gaspereau, herring, sea lances and flatfishes. PredatorsTheir main enemies are large sharks. HabitatBarndoor skates live in salt water on various types of bottoms. They tolerate a wide range of temperatures, from 1.2 to 20°C. They are found in shallow water, along the continental shelf, down to 750 metres. Ecology, behaviourThese voracious predators have few enemies. At rest, barndoor skates are camouflaged against the bottom. They use their sensitive snouts to forage in the sand or mud. The spiracle, a small hole located behind each eye, is used to take in water and avoid blocking the gills. French nameGrande raie Scientific nameDipturus laevisPhylumChordataClassChondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)OrderRajiformesFamilyRajidaeSizeLength: 127 to 142 cm; maximum length: 152 cmWeight14 to 17 kgStatusEndangered (IUCN - 2003).