Did you catch those incredible songs performed by our very own musically inclined friend, CIMI Shark?? Yep, we created that music to your ears to help you guys remember some of our favorite sea creatures that we sometimes see out on our snorkels!
We call these musical cartilage fish Chondricthyes, or cartilage fish. First, there’s the old DUH NUH NUH NUH NUH NUH NUH NUH NUH BATRAAAAY!!!! That’s the jive for our dear friend the bat ray, and you should sing it at the top of your lungs into your snorkel if ever you happen across one of these flapping beauties out in the water. We’ve got more songs where that came from, but of course we love most to hear the ones you come up with!
So what do our musical fish have in common? Sharks, Skates, and Rays are all cartilaginous fish, meaning they don’t have any bones! Instead, they get their structure from hard cartilage that mimics the same boney structures that we have in our bodies. Personally, I’d prefer a solid boney backbone, but these cartilage fish have something called a notochord, which helps provide structure as well as an ability to move with agility through the water. These cartilage fish also lack a ribcage, so if some of the bigger guys were to be taken out of the water, their own body weight would crush their internal organs! Ouch, let’s steer away from picking up a large shark anytime soon…
These musical cartilage fish are super neat because some of them, specifically sharks and rays, have things called dermal denticles. These dermal denticles, or skin teeth, are tiny sharp structures that overlap and provide protection as well as hydrodynamics, or an ability to swim fast in the water. If you’ve ever felt sandpaper, than you’re already familiar with what a shark’s skin feels like. Or if you’ve been to CIMI, than you certainly already know!
So what do all our musical fish have in common? Sharks, Skates, and Rays are made out of cartilage, meaning they have NO BONES!! We will leave you with a word of the wise: Don’t go challenging any of these cartilage Chondricthyes to any limbo contests, because they’d surely win!