The classification of fossil sharks is sometimes more of an art than science. Many species are based solely on isolated teeth or dermal denticles. Revisions in nomenclature are never ending, therefore the presence of a species on this list is no guarantee of validity, merely my best research.
For simplicity's sake, I have divided the fossil sharks and rays into two groups or cohorts; the Euselachii, or primitive sharks, and the Neoselachii, modern sharks, containing the Batomorphii or rays. While not strictly scientific, this seemed the easiest way to reconcile the systemics laid out by Zangerl (1981) for Paleozoic (Euselachii) and Cappetta (1987) for Mesozoic & Cenozoic (Neoselachii) elasmobranchs. Newer studies have updated their classifications and some are included.
Within each taxonomic group (Cohort, Superorder, Order, Family, Genus) the list is in alphabetical order. No cladistic relationships are inferred from this grouping, it was the easiest way to organize the data. For a possible phylogenetic tree of the elasmobrachs refer to Mikko Haarmo's Basal Chondrithyes. I have omitted the suborders and subfamily groupings for simplicity's sake. Junior synonyms abound in shark systemics and I have included the most common in "italics" after the most accepted name. Following the species are the geologic ages and locations fossils of this species have been found. Where there is serious doubt as to the validity of the age/location, or I have no information, there is a "?". The general form is:
Order CITATION [Common Name] "Synonyms"
Family CITATION [Common name] "Synonyms"
Genus "synonyms" species a "syn.." CITATION- Geologic age: location; . . .; Geol. age: . . .
species b "syn." CITATION- . . .
I have tried to go from the oldest geologic age to the youngest, and from specific locations to general ones on each species line. Geologic ages are often abbreviated and a time line is included for quick reference. The United States locations come first in the locales, the states being abbreviated. Usually I spell out countries, with a few exceptions noted below. Any suggestions as to layout would be appreciated, as well as additions or corrections in the taxonomy, especially where there is a " ?" .I've tried to include as many locales as possible without being redundant, any you can add would help. This is a work in progress, and future revisions will include major contributor's names/web sites on the acknowledgment/reference pages, and a free revised copy of the Listing.
I want to thank Peter Engelhard, Dick Grier and Albert Hendriks for help in editing this list, and for providing a wealth of information. Their aid was essential, as were the web sites of Jim Bourdon, Andy Nethery, and Peter Engelhard. Other contributors were the late Jim Craig (England), Andreas Forsman (Sweden), Toshiharu Ohta (Japan), Les Tenant (Australia), Pepijn Morgenstern, Pierre Zennaro and Willem Vergoossen (Europe), Gerardo Gonzales-Barba (Mexico). Scott McPhillamy (Locations), Alexander von Buldring and Eric Prokopi (Reference Material).
Copyright © 1999 George Steadson Williams
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Research: The LIST
United States Abbreviations:
AL: Alabama AK: Alaska AZ: Arizona AR: Arkansas CA: California CO: Colorado
CT: Connecticut DE: Delaware FL: Florida GA: Georgia HI: Hawaii ID: Idaho
IL: Illinois IN: Indiana IO: Iowa KS: Kansas KY: Kentucky LA: Louisiana
ME: Maine MD: Maryland MA: Massachusetts MI: Michigan MN: Minnesota
MS: Mississippi MO: Missouri MT: Montana NE: Nebraska NV: Nevada
NH: New Hampshire NJ: New Jersey NM: New Mexico NY: New York
NC: North Carolina ND: North Dakota OH: Ohio OK: Oklahoma OR: Oregon
PA: Pennsylvania RI: Rhode Island SC: South Carolina SD: South Dakota
TN: Tennessee TX: Texas UT: Utah VT: Vermont VA: Virginia
WA: Washington WV: West Virginia WI: Wisconsin WY: Wyoming
Chesapeake Bay: DE, MD, NJ, NC, VA
Belg.: Belgium N.Z.: New Zealand Neth.: Netherland
Czeck.: Czech Republic & Slovokia
A Listing of Fossil Sharks and Rays of the World