A school of cownose rays

Rays, skates and sawfish

Rays, skates and sawfish make up the Rajiformes, an order of cartilaginous fish containing 12 families. Fish in this group generally have flat bodies and a large pectoral fin that forms a disc. The undulation of this fin propels the fish through the water. Though most are found in marine waters, there are some freshwater species - notably the river rays. Some species of stingray have a toxin which can be harmful, and even fatal, to humans.

Scientific name: Rajiformes

Rank: Order

Explore this group


The following habitats are found across the Rays, skates and sawfish distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Cartilaginous fish
  5. Rays, skates and sawfish

BBC News about Rays, skates and sawfish

  • Sawfish snout senses and swipes The spectacular snouts of sawfish are revealed as complete hunting weapons - even as the creatures themselves head to extinction.