Skate Egg Case
Range/Geographical Distribution: Along the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico.
Habitat: Skates live along the bottom of the ocean and lay their egg cases attached to the substrate.
Description: A small black rectangle with a curly horn in each corner. This egg case comes from a skate, a vertebrate, cartilaginous flat fish common along the coast.
Size: Can reach four inches in length.
Food: The egg case contains yolk for the young fish to feed on and the horns of the case extract oxygen from the water and release waste from the case.
Predators: The leathery case protects the young skate from predators.
Conservation Status: No legal status.
Interesting Facts: Skate egg cases are made of collegen and are sometimes called mermaid’s purses.
On the Coast: Skate egg cases often wash up on Georgia’s beaches but they are usually empty because the young fish has already hatched.