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Banjo Shark

This is a ventral (belly-side) view.  The opposite, dorsal side has three rows of short spines along the back and tail, giving this fish its other name, the “thornback ray.”  Unlike stingrays, the tail of the banjo shark lacks a venomous stinger and is quite harmless.  It eats marine worms, crustaceans, and small mollusks that live on the bottom.  This banjo shark was caught at night from the Ocean Beach fishing pier in San Diego and was printed on black paper that contains wisps of silvery fibers and star-like flakes of silver and gold foil.

Size:  24 x 18 inches  (2001, private collection in Phoenix, Arizona)

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