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Chondrichthyes

(Class)

Overview

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A Class in the Kingdom animalia.

Photos

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Taxonomy

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The Class Chondrichthyes is a member of the Phylum Chordata. Here is the complete "parentage" of Chondrichthyes:

The Class Chondrichthyes is further organized into finer groupings including:

Families

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Alopiidae

Thresher sharks are large lamniform sharks of the family Alopiidae. Found in all temperate and tropical oceans of the world, the family contains three species all within the genus Alopias. [more]

Anacanthobatidae

The smooth skates or leg skates are the sole genus, Anacanthobatis, of the skate, family Anacanthobatidae. It has ten described species. [more]

Arhynchobatidae

Skates are cartilaginous fish belonging to the family Rajidae in the superorder Batoidea of rays. There are more than 200 described species in 27 genera. There are two subfamilies, Rajinae (hardnose skates) and Arhynchobatinae (softnose skates). [more]

Brachaeluridae

The Brachaeluridae, or blind sharks, are a small family of sharks in the order Orectolobiformes. There are only two species of blind shark, both of which are native to shallow coastal waters up to 110 metres (360 ft) depth, off the eastern coast of Australia. [more]

Callorhinchidae

The family Callorhincidae (sometimes spelled "Callorhynchidae"), or plough-nose chimaeras, are a family of marine fish. They are similar in form and habits to other chimaeras, but are distinguished by the presence of an elongated and flexible fleshy snout, with a vague resemblance to a ploughshare. The snout is used to probe the sea bottom in search of the invertebrates and small fishes on which it preys. [more]

Carcharhinidae

Requiem sharks are a family, Carcharhinidae, of sharks in the order Carcharhiniformes, containing migratory, live-bearing sharks of warm seas (sometimes of brackish or fresh water) such as the tiger shark, the blue shark, the bull shark, and the milk shark. [more]

Centrophoridae

Centrophoridae are a family of squaliform sharks. The family contains just two genera and approximately 15 species. They are sometimes called gulper sharks but this is also the name of a specific species in the family, Centrophorus granulosus. [more]

Cetorhinidae

The basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) is the second largest living fish, after the whale shark. It is a cosmopolitan migratory species, found in all the world's temperate oceans. It is a slow moving and generally harmless filter feeder and has anatomical adaptations to filter feeding, such as a greatly enlarged mouth and highly developed gill rakers. The shape of its snout is conical and the gill slits extend around the top and bottom of its head. The gill rakers are dark and bristle-like and are used to catch plankton as water filters through the mouth and over the gills. The basking shark is usually grayish-brown in color and often seems to have a mottled appearance. The caudal (tail) fin has a strong lateral keel and a crescent shape. The teeth of the basking shark are very small and numerous and often number one hundred per row. The teeth themselves have a single conical cusp, are curved backwards and are the same on both the upper and lower jaws. [more]

Chimaeridae

The Chimaeridae, or shortnose chimaeras are a family of cartilaginous fish. [more]

Chlamydoselachidae

Chlamydoselachus is a genus of sharks and the sole extant member of the family Chlamydoselachidae, in the order Hexanchiformes. It contains two extant and several extinct species. [more]

Cladoselachidae

Cladoselachidae is an extinct family of cartilaginous fishes and among the earliest predecessors of modern sharks. They are the only members of the order Cladoselachiformes and were characterized by having an elongated body with a spine in each of the two dorsal fins. [more]

Cochliodontidae

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Ctenacanthidae

[more]

Dalatiidae

Dalatiidae is a family of sharks in the order Squaliformes, commonly known as kitefin sharks (which also refers specifically to the species Dalatias licha). Members of this family are small, under 2 m (6.6 ft) long, and are found worldwide. They have cigar-shaped bodies with narrow heads and rounded snouts. Several species have specialized bioluminescent organs. [more]

Dasyatidae

The whiptail stingrays are a family, Dasyatidae, of rays in the order Myliobatiformes. They are found worldwide in tropical to temperate marine waters, and a number of species have also penetrated into fresh water in North America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Members of this family have flattened pectoral fin discs that range from oval to diamond-like in shape. Their common name comes from their whip-like tails, which are much longer than the disc and lack dorsal and caudal fins. All whiptail stingrays, except the porcupine ray (Urogymnus asperrimus), have one or more venomous stings near the base of the tail, which is used in defense. They range in size from 18 cm (7.1 in) to almost 2 m (6.6 ft) across. [more]

Debeeriidae

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Distobatidae

[more]

Echinochimaeridae

Echinochimaera is an extinct genus of fish, it was assigned to the order chimaera by Jack Sepkoski in 2002. The genus' name derives from the Greek e???? (echino) meaning spiny, and chimaera. [more]

Echinorhinidae

Echinorhinus is a genus of squaliform sharks, the only extant genus in the family Echinorhinidae. The name is from Greek echinos meaning "spiny" and rhinos meaning "nose". Both species are uncommon, little known sharks. They are found worldwide in cold temperate to tropical seas down to 900 metres (3,000 ft) depth. [more]

Edestidae

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Etmopteridae

Etmopteridae is a family of sharks in the order Squaliformes, commonly known as lantern sharks. Their name comes from the presence of light-producing photophores on their bodies. The members of this family are small, under 90 cm (35 in) long, and are found in deep waters worldwide. There are 45 species in five genera. Three-quarters of the species are in the genus Etmopterus. [more]

Falcatidae

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Ginglymostomatidae

Ginglymostomatidae is a cosmopolitan family of carpet sharks, containing the three monotypic genera of nurse sharks. Common in shallow, tropical and subtropical waters, these sharks are sluggish and docile bottom-dwellers. Nurse sharks typically attack humans only if directly threatened. [more]

Gregoriidae

[more]

Gymnuridae

The butterfly rays are a group of rays forming the genus Gymnura and the family Gymnuridae. They are found in warm oceans worldwide, and occasionally in estuaries. [more]

Hemigaleidae

The weasel sharks are a family, Hemigaleidae, of ground sharks found from the eastern Atlantic Ocean to the continental Indo-Pacific. They are found in shallow coastal waters to a depth of 100 m (330 ft). [more]

Hemiscylliidae

Hemiscylliidae is a family of sharks in the order Orectolobiformes, commonly known as longtail carpet sharks or bamboo sharks. They are found in shallow waters of the tropical Indo-Pacific. [more]

Heterodontidae

The bullhead sharks are a small order (Heterodontiformes) of basal modern sharks (Neoselachii). There are nine living species in a single genus, Heterodontus, in the family Heterodontidae. All are relatively small, with the largest species being just 150 centimetres (59 in) in adult length. They are bottom feeders in tropical and subtropical waters. [more]

Hexanchidae

Cow sharks, or the Hexanchidae, are a family of sharks characterized by an additional pair or pairs of gill slits. There are currently known to be four species in three genera, Heptranchias, Hexanchus and Notorynchus,. [more]

Hexatrygonidae

The sixgill stingray, Hexatrygon bickelli, is an unusual species of deep-sea ray. It is distinguished by its long, soft snout and six pairs of gill slits (all other rays have five). It is the sole member of the genus Hexatrygon and the family Hexatrygonidae. Although several species of Hexatrygon have been described historically, it is now believed that they may represent variations in a single, widespread species. [more]

Hybodontidae

Hybodontidae is an extinct family of sharks, first appearing in the Mississippian period, and disappearing during the Late Cretaceous. [more]

Hypnidae

The coffin ray (Hypnos monopterygius) is a species of electric ray endemic to Australia, where it is common in inshore waters shallower than 80 m (260 ft). It is the sole member of its genus and of the subfamily Hypninae in the family Torpedinidae, which some taxonomists prefer to elevate to the full family rank as Hypnidae. This small species typically reaches 40 cm (16 in) in length. Greatly enlarged pectoral fins and an extremely short tail, coupled with diminutive dorsal and caudal fins all concentrated towards the rear, give the coffin ray a distinctive pear-like shape. It is a varying shade of brown in color above, and has tiny eyes and a large, highly distensible mouth. [more]

Hypsobatidae

[more]

Lamnidae

Lamnidae is a family of sharks, commonly known as mackerel sharks or white sharks. They are large, fast-swimming sharks, found in oceans worldwide. [more]

Leptochariidae

The barbeled houndshark (Leptocharias smithii) is a species of ground shark and the only member of the family Leptochariidae. This demersal species is found in the coastal waters of the eastern Atlantic Ocean from Mauritania to Angola, at depths of 10?75 m (33?246 ft). It favors muddy habitats, particularly around river mouths. The barbeled houndshark is characterized by a very slender body, nasal barbels, long furrows at the corners of the mouth, and sexually dimorphic teeth. Its maximum known length is 82 cm (32 in). [more]

Megachasmidae

The megamouth shark, Megachasma pelagios, is an extremely rare species of deepwater shark. Since its discovery in 1976, only a few megamouth sharks have been seen, with 54 specimens known to have been caught or sighted as of 2012, including three recordings on film. Like the basking shark and whale shark, it is a filter feeder, and swims with its enormous mouth wide open, filtering water for plankton and jellyfish. It is distinctive for its large head with rubbery lips. It is so unlike any other type of shark that it is classified in its own family Megachasmidae, though it has been suggested that it may belong in the family Cetorhinidae of which the basking shark is currently the sole member. [more]

Menaspidae

[more]

Mitsukurinidae

Mitsukurinidae, also called goblin sharks is a family of sharks with one living genus, Mitsukurina, and three extinct genera: Anomotodon, and Scapanorhynchus, though some taxonomists consider Scapanorhynchus to be a synonym of Mitsukurina. The only known living species is the goblin shark, Mitsukurina owstoni. [more]

Mobulidae

Mobula is a genus of ray in the family Myliobatidae (eagle rays). Their appearance is similar to that of Manta rays, which are in the same family. The Devil fish can attain a disc width of up to 5.2 meters (17 feet) and can probably weigh over a ton, second only to the Manta in size. Despite their size, little is known about this genus. [more]

Myliobatidae

The eagle rays are a group of cartilaginous fishes in the family Myliobatidae, consisting mostly of large species living in the open ocean rather than on the sea bottom. [more]

Narcinidae

The numbfishes are a group of electric rays (order Torpediniformes) in the family Narcinidae. They are bottom-dwelling cartilaginous fishes with large, rounded pectoral fin discs and long tails. They can produce an electric discharge for defense, from which their scientific name is derived (Greek narke, meaning "paralysis"). [more]

Narkidae

Members of the family Narkidae are commonly known as sleeper rays. They are restricted to the temperate and tropical Indo-West Pacific from South Africa to Japan to Indonesia, and are exclusively marine and are absent from freshwater habitats. They occur from the intertidal zone to the continental shelf and the upper continental slope to a depth of 350 meters, favoring soft-bottomed habitats. [more]

Notorynchidae

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Odontaspididae

Sand sharks, also known as sand tiger sharks or ragged tooth sharks, are mackerel sharks of the family Odontaspididae. They are found worldwide in temperate and tropical waters. There are four species in two genera. [more]

Orectolobidae

Wobbegong is the common name given to the 12 species of carpet sharks in the family Orectolobidae. They are found in shallow temperate and tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean and eastern Indian Ocean, chiefly around Australia and Indonesia, although one species (the Japanese wobbegong, Orectolobus japonicus) occurs as far north as Japan. The word wobbegong is believed to come from an Australian Aboriginal language, meaning "shaggy beard", referring to the growths around the mouth of the shark of the western Pacific. [more]

Palaeospinacidae

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Parascyllidae

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Parascylliidae

The Parascylliidae, or collared carpet sharks are a family of sharks. They are only found in shallow waters of the western Pacific. [more]

Petalodontida

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Platyrhinidae

Platyrhinidae is a family of rays in the order Myliobatiformes, commonly known as thornbacks due to their dorsal rows of large thorns. They resemble guitarfishes in shape, but are in fact more closely related to stingrays. [more]

Plesiobatidae

The deepwater stingray or giant stingaree (Plesiobatis daviesi) is a species of stingray and the sole member of the family Plesiobatidae. It is widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific, typically over fine sediments on the upper continental slope at depths of 275?680 m (900?2,230 ft). This species reaches 2.7 m (8.9 ft) in length and 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in width. It has an oval pectoral fin disc with a long, flexible, broad-angled snout. Most of the entire latter half of its tail supports a distinctively long, slender, leaf-shaped caudal fin. Its coloration is dark above and white below, and its skin is almost completely covered by tiny dermal denticles. [more]

Potamotrygonidae

River stingrays are Neotropical freshwater fishes of the Potamotrygonidae family (order Myliobatiformes). [more]

Pristidae

Sawfish, also known as the Carpenter Shark, are a family of rays, characterized by a long, toothy nose extension snout. Several species can grow to approximately 7 metres or 23 feet. The family as a whole is largely unknown and little studied. They are members of the sole living family Pristidae within the order Pristiformes, from the Ancient Greek pristes (p??st??) meaning "a sawyer" or "a saw". [more]

Pristiophoridae

The sawsharks or saw sharks are an order (Pristiophoriformes) of sharks bearing long blade-like snouts edged with teeth, which they use to slash and disable their prey. Most occur in waters from South Africa to Australia and Japan, at depths of 40 metres (130 ft) and below; in 1960 the Bahamas sawshark was discovered in the deeper waters (640 m to 915 m) of the northwestern Caribbean. [more]

Proscylliidae

The finback catsharks are a small family, Proscylliidae, of ground sharks. [more]

Pseudocarchariidae

The crocodile shark (Pseudocarcharias kamoharai) is a species of mackerel shark and the only member of the family Pseudocarchariidae. A specialized inhabitant of the mesopelagic zone, the crocodile shark can be found worldwide in tropical waters from the surface to a depth of 590 m (1,940 ft). It performs a diel vertical migration, staying below a depth of 200 m (660 ft) during the day and ascending into shallower water at night to feed. Typically measuring only 1 m (3.3 ft) in length, the crocodile shark is the smallest living mackerel shark. It can be distinguished by its elongated cigar-shaped body, extremely large eyes, and relatively small fins. [more]

Pseudotriakidae

Pseudotriakidae is a small family of ground sharks, order Carcharhiniformes, containing the false catsharks and gollumsharks. It contains the only ground shark species that exhibit intrauterine oophagy, in which developing fetuses are nourished by eggs produced by their mother. [more]

Ptychodontidae

Ptychodontidae is a family of extinct hybodontiform sharks which lived from the Cretaceous to the Paleogene. [more]

Rajidae

Skates are cartilaginous fish belonging to the family Rajidae in the superorder Batoidea of rays. There are more than 200 described species in 27 genera. There are two subfamilies, Rajinae (hardnose skates) and Arhynchobatinae (softnose skates). [more]

Rhincodontidae

The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is a slow-moving filter feeding shark and the largest extant fish species. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 12.65 metres (41.50 ft) and a weight of more than 21.5 tonnes (47,000 lb), and there are unconfirmed reports of considerably larger whale sharks. This distinctively-marked fish is the only member of its genus Rhincodon and its family, Rhincodontidae (called Rhiniodon and Rhinodontidae before 1984), which belongs to the subclass Elasmobranchii in the class Chondrichthyes. The species originated about 60 million years ago. [more]

Rhinidae

The bowmouth guitarfish, mud skate, or shark ray (Rhina ancylostoma, sometimes misgendered ancylostomus) is a species of ray related to guitarfishes and skates, and the sole member of the family Rhinidae. It is found widely in the tropical coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific region, at depths of up to 90 m (300 ft). Highly distinctive in appearance, the bowmouth guitarfish has a wide, thick body with a blunt snout and large, shark-like dorsal and tail fins. The line of its mouth is strongly undulating, and there are multiple thorny ridges over its head and back. It has dorsal color pattern of many white spots over a bluish gray to brown background, with a pair of prominent markings over the pectoral fins. This large species can grow to 2.7 m (8.9 ft) long and 135 kg (300 lb). [more]

Rhinobatidae

The guitarfish are a family, Rhinobatidae, of rays. The guitarfish are known for an elongated body with a flattened head and trunk and small ray like wings. The combined range of the various species is tropical, subtropical and temperate waters worldwide. They often travel in large schools. [more]

Rhinochimaeridae

Rhinochimaeridae, commonly known as long-nosed chimaeras, is a family of cartilaginous fish. They are similar in form and habits to other chimaeras, but have an exceptionally long, conical or paddle-shaped, snout. The snout has numerous sensory nerve endings, and is used to find food such as small fish. The first dorsal fin includes a mildly poisonous spine, used in defence. [more]

Rhinopteridae

[more]

Rhynchobatidae

Rhynchobatus is a group of rays commonly known as wedgefishes, and the sole genus in the family Rhynchobatidae. They are found in the tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific with a single species in the eastern Atlantic. All species in this genus are assessed as Vulnerable or Endangered by IUCN. [more]

Sclerorhynchidae

[more]

Scyliorhinidae

Catsharks are ground sharks of the family Scyliorhinidae, with over 150 known species. While they are generally known as catsharks, many species are commonly called dogfish. [more]

Somniosidae

Somniosidae is a family of sharks in the order Squaliformes, commonly known as sleeper sharks. [more]

Somnosidae

[more]

Sphyrnidae

The hammerhead sharks are a group of sharks in the family Sphyrnidae, so named for the unusual and distinctive structure of their heads, which are flattened and laterally extended into a "hammer" shape called a "cephalofoil". Most hammerhead species are placed in the genus Sphyrna while the winghead shark is placed in its own genus, Eusphyra. Many, not necessarily mutually exclusive, functions have been proposed for the cephalofoil, including sensory reception, maneuvering, and prey manipulation. Hammerheads are found worldwide in warmer waters along coastlines and continental shelves. Unlike most sharks, hammerheads usually swim in schools during the day, becoming solitary hunters at night. Some of these schools can be found near Malpelo Island in Colombia, Cocos Island, off Costa Rica, and near Molokai Island, in Hawaii. Large schools are also seen in southern and eastern Africa. [more]

Squalidae

Squalidae is the family of dogfish sharks. They are found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans, from tropical equatorial climates to the Arctic and Antarctic. [more]

Squalorajidae

[more]

Squatinactidae

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Squatinidae

The angel sharks are an unusual genus of sharks with flattened bodies and broad pectoral fins that give them a strong resemblance to rays. The more than 16 known species are in the genus Squatina, the only genus in its family, Squatinidae, and order Squatiniformes. They occur worldwide in temperate and tropical seas. Most species inhabit shallow temperate or tropical seas, but one species inhabits deeper water, down to 1,300 metres (4,300 ft). [more]

Stegostomatidae

The zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum or varium) is a species of carpet shark and the sole member of the family Stegostomatidae. It is found throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific, frequenting coral reefs and sandy flats to a depth of 62 m (210 ft). Adult zebra sharks are distinctive in appearance, with five longitudinal ridges on a cylindrical body, a low caudal fin comprising nearly half the total length, and a pattern of dark spots on a pale background. Young zebra sharks under 50?90 cm (20?35 in) long have a completely different pattern, consisting of light vertical stripes on a brown background, and lack the ridges. This species attains a length of 2.5 m (8.2 ft). [more]

Stegostomidae

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Stethacanthidae

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Symmoriidae

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Torpedinidae

Torpedo is a genus of rays, commonly known as electric rays, torpedo rays, or torpedoes. It is the sole genus of the family Torpedinidae. They are slow-moving bottom-dwellers capable of generating electricity as a defense and feeding mechanism. There are between fifteen and twenty-two extant species. [more]

Traquairiidae

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Triakidae

Houndsharks are a family, Triakidae, of ground sharks, consisting of about 40 species in 9 genera. In some classifications, the family is split into two sub-families, with Mustelus, Scylliogaleus, and Triakis in sub-family Triakinae, and the remaining genera in sub-family . [more]

Urolophidae

Urolophidae is a family of rays in the order Myliobatiformes, commonly known as stingarees or round stingrays; this family formerly included the genera Urobatis and Urotrygon of the Americas, which are presently recognized as forming their own family Urotrygonidae. Stingarees are found in the Indo-Pacific region, with the greatest diversity off Australia. They are sluggish, bottom-dwelling fish that have been recorded from shallow waters close to shore to deep waters over the upper continental slope. Measuring between 15?80 cm (5.9?31 in) long, these rays have oval to diamond-shaped pectoral fin discs and relatively short tails that terminate in leaf-shaped caudal fins, and may also have small dorsal fins and lateral skin folds. Most are smooth-skinned, and some have ornate dorsal color patterns. [more]

Urotrygonidae

Urotrygonidae is a family of rays in the order Myliobatiformes, commonly referred to as the American round stingrays or round rays. They are native to the tropical and warm temperate marine waters of the Americas. The two genera in this family were formerly placed within the family Urolophidae, whose species are now restricted to the Indo-Pacific. They have a round pectoral fin disk, a slender tail with a caudal fin, no dorsal fins, and a venomous tail spine. [more]

Xenacanthidae

[more]

Zanobatidae

The striped panray (Zanobatus schoenleinii) is a species of ray and the only member of the genus Zanobatus and the family Zanobatidae. [more]

More info about the Family Zanobatidae may be found here.

Sources

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Last Revised: August 25, 2014
2014/08/25 13:07:42