SF aquarium welcomes guitar-shaped fish

Michael Grassman has worked for the Aquarium of the Bay for about two years. He and other staff have welcomed a new member to the fish family: a shovelnose guitarfish.

How did the shovelnose guitarfish come to the Aquarium of the Bay? We have a boat that can go out on the Bay, and with that vessel we have various means of collecting animals.

Can you describe the shovelnose guitarfish? She looks kind of like a guitar — that’s where they get the name. They’re in between a shark and a ray, with a pointy snout and a long, extended body.

Have you had shovelnose guitarfish before? We have had them before, but this particular animal is very large — it’s a pretty impressive size, 4½-, almost 5-feet long.

Do you know how old she is? The only way to estimate the age of these animals accurately is after they perish, you can do some work with their skeletons.

How does she like her new home? She’s a little shy with the divers — not quite used to them yet.

kworth@sfexaminer.com

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