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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Hexanchiformes (cow sharks)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Chondrichthyes > Elasmobranchii > Squalomorphii

The only living sharks with 6 or 7 pairs of gill slits, 1 dorsal fin, and an anal fin. All are non-placental live-bearers. 5 species in 2 families, Hexanchidae and Chlamydoselachidae.

Families found in Southern Africa:

Chlamydoselachidae (frilled sharks)

Slender sharks with a long terminal mouth, 3-cusped teeth in both jaws, and 6 pairs of gill slits. 1 species.Only one species recorded in southern Africa: Chlamydoselachus sp. nov. (Southern African frilled shark)

Hexanchidae (cow sharks)

Text by Leonard J.V. Compagno, David A. Ebert and Malcolm J. Smale