Prehistoric Models: Sharks

Sharks, rays, skates, and ratfish 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: 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: 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: 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 (Wuchiapingian).
Size: Uncertain.
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: 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
Genus and species: Chiloscyllium plagiosum
Common name: Whitespotted bamboo shark
Classification: Order: Orectoboliformes – Family: Hemiscyllidae
Range: Indo-Pacific
Time: Holocene
Diet: Nocturnal small fish and invertebrates

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
Genus and species: Glyphis glyphis
Common name: Speartooth shark
Classification: Order: Charchariniformes – Family: Carcharhinidae
Range: Northern Australia and southeastern New Guinea
Time: 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: Late 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 ) to 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: Early Mocene to Early Pliocene
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: Carcharias taurus
Common name: Sand tiger shark
Classification: Order: Laminformes – Family: Odontaspididae
Range: Global (except polar zones)
Time: Cretaceous to 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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