Prehistoric Models: Sharks

Sharks, rays, and skates are in a class known as Chondrichthyes meaning “cartilage fish”. As the name translates, members of chondrichthyes have skeletons made of cartilage instead of bone; which does not preseve well in the fossil record.

The first sharks appear in the fossil record in the Late Silurian about 450 million years ago. If you want to see shark fossils click here, or to see my modern shark specimen click here. Below I have modern and fossil shark models organized with taxonomic classification:

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Subphylum: Vertebrata – Class: Chondrichthyes – Subclass: Holocephali – Order: Symmoriiformes

(early sharks)

Late Devonian to Early Permian

Genus: Cladoselache“‬Branch toothed shark‭”.

Pronounced: Clay-do-sel-ah-kee.

Named By: Dean‭ ‬-‭ ‬1894.

Species: C.‭ ‬clarki,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬elegans,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬fyleri,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬kepleri,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬magnificus,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬mirablis,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬newmani,‭ ‬C.pattersoni.

Classification: ‬Order: Symmoriiformes – Family: ‬Cladoselachidae.

Locations: USA.

Time period: Devonian (Fammenian).

Size: Up to 1.8 meters long.

Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore

Genus: Stethacanthus “‬Chest spine‭”.

Pronounced: Stef-ah-can-thus.

Named By: John Strong Newberry – 1889.

Species: S. altonensis, S. concavus, S. productus, S. praecursor, S. mirabilis, S. resistens, S. thomasi.

Classification: ‬Order: Symmoriiformes – Family: ‬Stethacanthidae.

Locations: China, Europe, North America, Russia

Time period: Late Devonian.

Size: 70 centimeters long.

Diet: Carnivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Subphylum: Vertebrata – Class: Chondrichthyes – Subclass: Holocephali – Superorder: Paraselachimorpha – Order: Eugeneodontida

(“tooth-whorls” sharks)

Late Devonian to Early Triassic (Olenekian)

 

Genus: Sarcoprion“‬Flesh saw“‬.

Pronounced: Sar-ko-pree-on.

Named By: E. Nielsen – 1952.

Species: H.‭ ‬bessonovi‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬H.‭ davisii,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬ergasaminon,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬ferrieri,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬mexicanus,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬nevadensis,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬svalis.

Classification: ‬Order: Eugeneodontida – Family: ‬Agassizodontidae.

Locations: Greenland.

Time period: Permian.

Size: Uncertain.

Diet: Carnivore

Genus: Helicoprion“‬Spiral saw“‬.

Pronounced: Hel-e-co-pree-on.

Named By: Alexander Petrovich Karpinsky‭ ‬-‭ ‬1899.

Species: H.‭ ‬bessonovi‭(‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬H.‭ davisii,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬ergasaminon,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬ferrieri,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬mexicanus,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬nevadensis,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬svalis.

Classification: ‬Order: Eugeneodontida – Family: ‬Agassizodontidae.

Locations: Australia – Wandagee Formation, Canada, Alberta – Ranger Canyon Formation, British Columbia – Fantasque Formation, Nunavut – Assistance Formation, China – Qixia Formation, Japan – Ochiai Formation and Yagihawa limestone Formation, Kazakstan, Mexico – Patlanoaya Formation, Russia, USA, California – Goodhue Formation, Idaho – Phosphoria Formation, Montana – Phosphoria Formation, Nevada – Antler Peak Formation, Texas – Bone Spring Formation, Skinner Ranch Formation, Utah – Phosphoria Formation, Wyoming – Phosphoria Formation. The broad distribution of fossil locations suggests a global distribution.

Time period: Late Devonian to end Triassic.

Size: 7.5 to 3 meters long. 

Diet: Carnivore

Genus: Edestus.

Pronounced: Eh-dess-tuss.

Named By: Joseph Leidy – 1855.

Species: E. giganteus, E. heinrichi, E. mirus, E. minor, E. vorax.

Classification: ‬Order: Eugeneodontida – Family: ‬Edestidae.

Locations: England, Russia and the USA.

Time period: Carboniferous (Kasimovian to Gzhelian).

Size: Uncertain, but has but larger specimens of E. giganteus have been estimated at up to 6 meters long.

Diet: Carnivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Subphylum: Vertebrata – Class: Chondrichthyes – Subclass: Holocephali – Order: Chimaeriformes

(ghost sharks, rat fish, spookfish, or rabbit fish)

Early Carboniferous to Holocene

 

Genus and species: Hydrolagus colliei

Common name: Spotted ratfis

Classification: Order: Chimaeriformes – Family: Chimaeridae

Range: Northeastern Pacific Ocean

Time: Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Subphylum: Vertebrata – Class: Chondrichthyes – Subclass: Elasmobranchii – Infraclass: Euselachii – Superorder: Selachimorpha – Order: Hybodontiformes

(sharks)

Late Devonian to Late Cretaceous

 

Genus: Hybodus Humped tooth“‬.

Pronounced: Hy-bo-dus.

Named By: Louis Agassiz – 1837.

Species: H. houtienensis, H. chuanjieensis, H. xinzhuangensis.

Classification: Order: Hybodontiformes -‭ ‬Family: Hybodontidae.

Locations: Worldwide.

Time period: Permian (Changhsingian) to Cretaceous (Berriasian).

Size: Up to‭ ‬2‭ ‬meters long.

Diet: Carnivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Subphylum: Vertebrata – Class: Chondrichthyes – Subclass: Elasmobranchii – Infraclass: Euselachii – Superorder: Selachimorpha – Order: Xenacanthida

(xenacanthid sharks)

Mississippian to Triassic (Norian)

 

Genus: Xenacanthus“‬Foreign spike”‬.

Pronounced: Zee-nah-can-thus.

Named By: Heinrich Ernst Beyrich‭ ‬-‭ ‬1848.

Species: X.‭ ‬atriossis,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬compressus,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬decheni,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬denticulatus,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬erectus,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬gibbosus,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬gracilis,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬howsei,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬indicus,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬laevissimus,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬latus,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬luedernesis,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬moorei,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬ossiani,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬ovalis,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬parallelus,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬parvidens,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬robustus,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬serratus,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬slaughteri,‭ ‬X.‭ ‬taylori.

Classification: ‬Order: Xenacanthida – Family: ‬Xenacanthidae.

Locations: USA,‭ ‬Europe, and India.

Time period: Late Devonian to end Triassic.

Size: Up to 1‭ ‬meters long.

Diet: Carnivore

Genus: OrthacanthusVertical spike“‬.

Pronounced: Orf-ah-can-fus.

Named By: Louis Agassiz‭ ‬-‭ ‬1836.

Species: O.‭ ‬buxeri‭ (‬type‭)‬.‭ ‬O.‭ ‬arcuatus,‭ ‬O.‭ ‬cylindricus,‭ ‬O.‭ ‬senckenbergianus.

Classification: Order: Xenacanthida -‭ ‬Family: Orthacanthidae.

Locations: Europe. and ‬North America.

Time period: Devonian (Emsian) to Triassic (Carnian).

Size: Up to‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.

Diet: Carnivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Subphylum: Vertebrata – Class: Chondrichthyes – Subclass: Elasmobranchii – Infraclass: Euselachii – Superorder: Selachimorpha – Order: Hexanchiformes

(primitive sharks)

Early Jurassic to Holocene

 

Genus and species: Chlamydoselachus anguineus

Common name: Frilled shark

Classification: Order: Hexanchiformes- Family: Chlamydoselachidae

Range: Global

Time: Pleistocene to Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Genus and species: Notorynchus cepedianus

Common name: Broadnose sevengill shark

Classification: Order: Hexanchiformes- Family: Hexanchidae

Range: Global

Time: Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Subphylum: Vertebrata – Class: Chondrichthyes – Subclass: Elasmobranchii – Infraclass: Euselachii – Superorder: Selachimorpha – Order: Heterodontiformes

(horn sharks)

Early Jurassic to Holocene

 

Genus and species: Heterodontus francisci 

Common name: Horn shark

Classification: Order: Heterodontiformes – Family: Heterodontidae

Range: United States and Mexico west coast

Time: Early Jurassic to Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Subphylum: Vertebrata – Class: Chondrichthyes – Subclass: Elasmobranchii – Infraclass: Euselachii – Superorder: Selachimorpha – Order: Orectolobiformes

(modern sharks)

Early Jurassic (Toarcian) to Holocene

 

Genus and species: Rhincodon typus

Common name: Whale shark

Classification: Order: Orectoboliformes- Family: Rhicodontidae

Range: Tropical latitudes in world’s oceans

Time: Holocene

Diet: Filter Feeder

Genus and species: Orectolobus maculatus

Common name: Spotted wobbegong

Classification: Order: Orectoboliformes- Family: Orectolobidae

Range: Southern Australian coast

Time: Late Jurassic to Holocene

Diet: Filter Feeder

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Subphylum: Vertebrata – Class: Chondrichthyes – Subclass: Elasmobranchii – Infraclass: Euselachii – Superorder: Selachimorpha – Order: Carcharhiniformes

(modern sharks)

Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) to Holocene

 

Genus and species: Triakis semifasciata

Common name: Leopard Shark

Classification: Order: Charchariniformes – Family: Triakidae

Range: North American west coast

Time: Paleocene to Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Genus and species: Sphyrna mokarran

Common name: Great Hammerhead Shark

Classification: Order: Charchariniformes – Family: Sphyrinidae

Range: Tropical ocean regions

Time: Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Genus and species: Poroderma africanum

Common name: Pyjama shark

Classification: Order: Charchariniformes – Family: Scyliorhinidae

Range: South Africa

Time: Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Genus and species: Triaenodon obesus

Common name: Whitetip reef shark

Classification: Order: Charchariniformes – Family: Carcharhinidae

Range: Tropical ocean regions except Atlantic Ocean

Time: Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Genus and species: Carcharhinus galapegensis

Common name: Galapagos shark

Classification: Order: Charchariniformes – Family: Carcharhinidae

Range: Tropical ocean regions 

Time: Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Genus and species: Galeocerdo cuvier

Common name: Tiger shark

Classification: Order: Charchariniformes – Family: Carcharhinidae

Range: Tropical ocean regions 

Time: Early Miocene to Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Genus and species: Carcharhinus leucas 

Common name: Bull shark

Classification: Order: Charchariniformes – Family: Carcharhinidae

Range: Tropical ocean regions

Time: Miocene to Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Subphylum: Vertebrata – Class: Chondrichthyes – Subclass: Elasmobranchii – Infraclass: Euselachii – Superorder: Selachimorpha – Order: Lamniformes

(modern sharks)

Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) to Holocene

 

Genus: CretoxyrhinaCretaceous jaws“‬.

Pronounced: Creh-tox-ee-rye-nah.

Named By: Louis Agassiz – 1843.

Species: C. mantelli.

Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Cretoxyrhinidae.

Locations: Worldwide.

Time period: Early Cretaceous (Cenomanian to Campanian).

Size: Up to‭ ‬7‭ ‬meters long.

Diet: Carnivore

Genus: Scapanorhynchus Spade snout“‬.

Pronounced: Skap-an-o-rink-us.

Named By: Woodwood – 1889.

Species: S. lewisii (type), S. rapax, S. raphiodon, S. texanus.

Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Mitsukurinidae.

Locations: Worldwide.

Time period: Cretaceous (Aptian to Maastrichtian ) t0 Paleogene.

Size: Up to‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.

Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore

Genus and species: Otodus. megalodonBig tooth“‬.

Pronounced: Meg-ah-low-don.

Named By: Louis Agassiz‭ ‬-‭ ‬1843.

Other Species: Carcharodon megalodonCarcharocles megalodonProcarcharodon megalodon or even Otodus megalodon‭ 

Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Otodontidae.

Locations: Worldwide.

Time period: Late Oligocene to Early Pleistocene

Size: Up to‭ ‬15 to 17‭ ‬meters long.

Diet: Carnivore

Genus and species: Cetorhinus maximus

Common name: Basking shark

Classification: Order: Lamniformes – Family: Cetorhinus

Range: Boreal to warm-temperate waters

Time: Miocene to Holocene

Diet: Filter Feeder

Genus and species: Megachasma pelagios

Common name: Megamouth shark

Classification: Order: Lamniformes – Family: Megachasmidae

Range: Global (except polar zones)

Time: Holocene

Diet: Filter Feeder

Genus and species: Alopias sp.

Common name: Thresher shark

Classification: Order: Lamniformes – Family: Alopiidae

Range: Global (except polar zones)

Time:Middle Eocene to Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Genus and species: Isurus paucus

Common name: Longfin mako shark

Classification: Order: Lamniformes – Family: Lamnidae

Range: Global (except polar zones)

Time: Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Genus and species: Carcharodon carcharias

Common name: Great white shark

Classification: Order: Lamniformes – Family: Lamnidae

Range: Global (except polar zones)

Time: Late Miocene to Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Subphylum: Vertebrata – Class: Chondrichthyes – Subclass: Elasmobranchii – Infraclass: Euselachii – Superorder: Selachimorpha – Order: Squaliformes

(dogfish)

Late Jurassic to Holocene

 

Genus and species: Deania calcea

Common name: Birdbeak dogfish

Classification: Order: Squaliformes – Family: Centrophoridae

Range: Global

Time: Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Genus and species: Etmopterus spinax

Common name: Velvet belly lanternshark

Classification: Order: Squaliformes – Family: Etmopteridae

Range: South Africa, Atlantic Ocean , and Mediterranean Sea

Time: Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Genus and species: Etmopterus spinax

Common name: Angular roughshark

Classification: Order: Squaliformes – Family: Oxynotidae

Range: African west coast, European west coast, and Mediterranean Sea

Time: Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Subphylum: Vertebrata – Class: Chondrichthyes – Subclass: Elasmobranchii – Order: Rhinopristiformes

(shovelnose rays)

Late Cretaceous to Holocene

 

This is a model of a modern era sawfish.

Genus and species: Pristis sp.

Common name: Sawfish or carpenter sharks

Classification: Order: Rhinopristiformes – Family: Pristidae

Range: Global

Time: Late Cretaceous to Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Genus and species: Pristis sp.

Common name: Sawfish or carpenter sharks

Classification: Order: Rhinopristiformes – Family: Pristidae

Range: Global

Time: Late Cretaceous to Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Genus and species: Pristis sp.

Common name: Sawfish or carpenter sharks

Classification: Order: Rhinopristiformes – Family: Pristidae

Range: Global

Time: Late Cretaceous to Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Subphylum: Vertebrata – Class: Chondrichthyes – Subclass: Elasmobranchii – Superorder: Batoidea – Order: Myliobatiformes

(Rays)

Early Jurassic to Holocene

 

Genus and species: Manta sp.

Common name: Manta ray

Classification: Order: Myliobatiformes- Family: Mobulidae

Range: Global tropical ocean reagions

Time: Early Miocene to Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Genus and species: sp.

Common name: Ray

Classification: Order: Myliobatiformes- Family: —

Range: Global

Time: Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Genus and species: Manta sp.

Common name: Spotted eagle ray

Classification: Order: Myliobatiformes- Family: Aetobatidae

Range: Global tropical ocean coastal reagions

Time: Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Subphylum: Vertebrata – Class: Chondrichthyes – Subclass: Elasmobranchii – Superorder: Batoidea – Order: Rajiformes

(Skates)

Early Jurassic to Holocene

 

Genus and species: sp.

Common name: Skate

Classification: Order: Rajiformes – Family: —

Range: Global

Time: Late Cretaceous to Holocene

Diet: Carnivore

The video below is from my YouTube Jurassic James 65:

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