Elasmobranchii

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Elasmobranchii
Temporal range: Late Silurian - Recent
Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Bonaparte, 1838

Elasmobranchii is a subclass of Chondrichthyes or cartilaginous fish, that includes the sharks and the rays and skates.

Evolution[change | edit source]

Fossilised shark teeth are known from the early Devonian, around 400 million years ago. During the following Carboniferous period, the sharks underwent a period of diversification, with many new forms evolving. Many of these became extinct during the Permian, but the remaining sharks underwent a second burst of adaptive radiation during the Jurassic, around which time the skates and rays first appeared.