Elasmobranchs are a group of cartilaginous fish that includes sharks, rays, and skates
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Elasmobranchs are a group of cartilaginous fish that includes sharks, rays, and skates, and are found in all oceans around the world and range in size from small to large. Elasmobranchs have several unique characteristics that make them different from other fish species. These include their flattened bodies, their five to seven gill slits on each side of their head, and the presence of dermal denticles or “skin teeth” which cover their skin. Elasmobranchs also have an electroreceptive system which allows them to detect electrical signals in the water such as those produced by prey or predators. This helps them locate food and avoid danger. Elasmobranchs play an important role in marine ecosystems as both predators and prey, providing food for larger animals such as whales while also being a source of food for smaller species like crustaceans and mollusks and are important for maintaining healthy coral reefs due to their ability to feed on algae that can otherwise overgrow these habitats if left unchecked.