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Fish #41 Longnose Skate Dipturus oxyrinchus ~ Harriott Brand
Mixed media 48 x 55 cm
The Long Nosed Skate, Raja Oxyrinhus, is commonly found on the floor of the sea at depths between 25 and 675 metres. As a bottom dweller it is often observed partially or entirely buried in the sand and silt with just its eyes protruding above the surface. The colouration of this skate is used to camouflage it with the bottom substrate.
To move, the Long Nosed Skate undulates the pectoral fins in a graceful sweeping motion appearing to fly rather than swim through the water. This fascinated me as a child and a good bath enabled me to emulate its diagonal shape and swimming motion with a flannel!
The maximum reported size is 140cms though the average is around 60-90 cms with the males being smaller than the females. Life span unknown but thought to be around 6 to 9 years. They eat small fish and invertibrates, including crustaceans, worms and molluscs. They pounce on top of their prey, trapping it against the sea floor.
Skates lay eggs which grow as tough permeable cases; we know them as Mermaids purses and they are often found on the tide line in the seaweed. All my life I have loved finding them on the beach and with such a magical name.
My fish uses digital printing of its internal bones, machine and hand stitching on pastel hues of textiles for the wings and skin. The water current movement ripples are printed using bubblewrap on a handmade paper.
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Lincolnshire Time and Tide Bell Community Interest Company is a not-for profit organisation, registered at Companies House. Company Number 10934941