Phylum Chordata- Sub Phylum Vertebrata- Class Chondrichthyes By: Al-John Ahmad

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Information about Phylum Chordata- Sub Phylum Vertebrata- Class Chondrichthyes By: Al-John...

Published on March 15, 2014

Author: JohnAhmad19



• The Class Chondrichthyes has two subclasses: –Elasmobranchii, which includes the sharks and rays. –Holocephali: the chimaeras: ratfish and ghostfish.


16.2 Figure 24.02

• Modern Chondricthyes include the sharks, rays and Chimeras. • The Chondrichthyes’ well-developed jaws, highly developed sense organs, powerful swimming ability and streamlined shape have enabled them to thrive as marine predators for more than 350 million years, as other groups have come and gone. • There are just under 1000 living species, all of which have cartilaginous skeletons, even though they are descended from ancestors that had bone.

• The Chondrichthyes are an ancient group that although not as diverse as the bony fishes have persisted largely unchanged for hundreds of millions of years. • The oldest unambiguous Chondrichthyans are found in the Early Devonian (Devonian -- 416-360 mya). although there are older fossils of scales.

• One of the best known extinct genera is Cladoselache a pelagic marine predator from the Devonian. • It was shark-like in appearance. About 2 meters long with a large gape and three-pronged teeth. As in modern sharks the teeth were arranged on a ligamentous band in a whorl- shaped arrangement.

• Cladoselache had two dorsal fins, each preceded by a large spine. • It also possessed paired pelvic and pectoral fins as in modern sharks, but the fins were much more broad based than in later sharks. • The tail was symmetrical externally, but internally asymmetrical with the notochord extending into the upper lobe of the tail.

Cladoselache picture Cladoselache Cladoselache lacked the rostrum (snout) of modern sharks

• By the Jurassic (200-146 mya) sharks of modern appearance had evolved. Several genera from that era are still extant. • The most distinctive feature of modern sharks is the rostrum or snout that overhangs the mouth. • Less prominent, but also of major importance was the evolution of solid calcified vertebrae. • Finally, the teeth are covered with thicker more complex enamel than in earlier sharks.

• Megalodon (Carcharodon megalodon) is another extinct shark species that is the largest predatory shark known. • Megalodon occurred from 28-1.5 mya and at approximately 16m long (and with a mass estimated at 47 metrics tonnes) it resembled a massive great white shark and was the top ocean predator of its era.

“Megalodon (gray and red) with the whale shark (violet), great white shark (green), and a human (blue) for scale. Note: The maximum size attained by C. megalodon is indicated by the 20 m scale.” From Wikipedia. ng/220px-Megalodon_scale1.png ons/thumb/7/71/Megalodon_tooth_ruler.jpg/ 220px-Megalodon_tooth_ruler.jpg ons/thumb/7/7a/Megalodon_shark_jaws_mus eum_of_natural_history_068.jpg/300px- Megalodon_shark_jaws_museum_of_natural_ history_068.jpg

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