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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Ocean Voyager

Range / Habitat

  • Giant guitarfish occurs in the tropical Western Indian Ocean from the Red Sea to South Africa.
  • Found in inshore marine waters and shallow estuaries to depths of about 165 feet (50 m).

Physical Characteristics

  • Giant guitarfish exhibits countershading, olive-green above and white below, with large black eyespots on the base of the pectoral fins. There is a distinctive black cross between the eyes and rows of small white spots on the upper body. (These marks may be good identifiers in the ocean, but they are very difficult to see in Ocean Voyager).
  • Can reach 10 feet (3.1 m) in length and 500 lbs. (227 kg).
  • The largest female on exhibit is roughly 7.9 feet (240cm) in length.

Diet / Feeding

  • Feeds on crabs, lobsters, bivalves, small fish and squid.

Reproduction / Growth

  • This species is ovoviviparous (fertilization of eggs occurs internally and the young develop within the female and are born fully formed).

Conservation Status

  • “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Giant guitarfish has a body that resembles that of a shark. However, it is a member of the ray family.
  • Female gives birth in summer to about four young, each typically about 1.4 to 2.0 feet (43 - 60 cm) long.
  • The fins of this guitarfish are sought after in Asian markets.

Sources

www.fishbase.org
www.iucnredlist.org