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List Of Extinct Sharks, From Small to Scary

Updated February 14, 2020 26.1k views20 items

Sharks are some of the most fascinating and frightening creatures on the planet, but they are often misunderstood and threatened as a result. Being some of the oldest still-living fish on Earth, there have been thousands of species swimming through the oceans over the eons of planetary history. While there are numerous sharks still swimming in the ocean today, there are far more extinct sharks who've taken their last swim—not to mention several endangered shark species.

A list of extinct sharks will absolutely include the infamous megalodon, otherwise known as "the Meg" thanks to a 2018 film. Even with a famous shark that has been lost to history, there are many more that have died out over the millions of years sharks have been swimming in the ocean. Whatever ended up causing these amazing fish to leave our oceans forever, they make up some of the more interesting examples of extinct sharks the world will never know.

  • Otodus

    History - Otodus was a genus of mackerel shark that lived during the Paleocene to the Miocene epoch some 66 to 5.3 million years ago. Its name is derived from the Greek word meaning "ear-shaped tooth". While its teeth have filled the fossil record, little has been found related to the skeleton due to its composition of cartilage instead of bone. Some fossilized vertebral centra have been located. It was likely one of the top predators of its time and may have fed on other sharks and bony fish.

    Physical Description - These were considerably large predators, which bore a traditional shark body shape similar to a modern great white.

    Size - Otodus was one of the largest predatory sharks, reaching a length of up to 40'. The largest tooth found measured 4.1" in height.

    Location - Otodus was distributed worldwide.

    Modern Relatives - Otodus evolved into the genus Carcharocles, which includes megaladon.

    • Scientific Name: Otodus
    • Type Of: Shark
  • Isurus Planus

    History - The Isurus planus, also known as the "hooked-tooth mako" was a species of extinct shark that lived during the Micoene epoch between 5 and 23 million years ago. They were relatively large predators that probably fed upon fish, pinnipeds, and small whales.

    Physical Description - Most of what is known about Isurus planus comes from its teeth, which are unserrated, sharp, and slightly curved resembling a hook, which is where its name comes from.

    Size - Their total size may have been as much as around 20', comparable to a modern great white.

    Location - Their fossils have been found in the Pacific Rim including areas of Australia up to Japan and across to California.

    Modern Relatives - The closest living relative is the mako shark.

    • Scientific Name: Isurus Planus
    • Type Of: Shark
  • Scapanorhynchus

    History - The Scapanorhynchus, or "spade snout," was a genus of shark that lived from the early Cretaceous until the Miosene some 145 to 5.3 million years ago. The Scapanorhynchus shared so many similarities with modern goblin Sharks, they thought to reclassify that animal into the prehistoric genus, but chose not to as the goblin shark is distinctive enough to merit its own genus.

    Physical Description - Its most prominent feature was an elongated snout with sharp teeth used for seizing fish and other prey.

    Size - Scapanorhynchus were approximately the same size as a modern goblin shark reaching lengths of up to 10'.

    Location - Fossils have been found in areas around the Atlantic Ocean.

    Modern Relatives - The goblin shark is the closest living relative and likely evolved from the Scapanorhynchus genus.

    • Scientific Name: Scapanorhynchus
    • Type Of: Shark
  • Cosmopolitodus Hastalis

    History - The Cosmopolitodus hastalis, better known as the broad-tooth mako, was a species of mackerel shark that lived between the Miocene and Pliocene epochs some 2.5 to 23 million years ago. It was relatively large and likely stood as an apex predator in its ecosystem. Cosmopolitodus hastalis likely fed on small whales and other small mammals.

    Physical Description - Cosmopolitodus hastalis possessed a traditional mako shark form and had large, triangular teeth. They likely looked similar to a modern great white.

    Size - Their size has been estimated to reach as much as 13', but it may have grown much larger than that given the size of their teeth (3.5").

    Location - They were distributed worldwide.

    Modern Relatives - The closest living relative would be extant species of mako shark.

    • Scientific Name: Cosmopolitodus hastalis
    • Type Of: Shark