Because of a certain similarity of the lower part of their head to the human face. Many species have also been dried, and metamorphosed, by a variety of artifices, into supposed basilisks, etc. Although they lay but one egg at a time, they increase so rapidly, that the ocean, in some spots, actually swarms with them. Their eggs have a horny covering with four points, and are called sea-mice. - Blumenhach.
Because the rest of their bodies is almost destitute of fat.
Dr. Monro, calculated that the whole gills of a large skate, presented a surface equal to 2,250 square inches; or equal to the whole external surface of the human body.