The Lamnidae are the family of mackerel or white sharks. They are large, fast-swimming sharks, found in oceans worldwide. The name of the family is formed from the Greek word, lamna, which means fish of prey, and was derived from the Greek legendary creature, the Lamia.
These sharks have pointed snouts, spindle-shaped bodies, and large gill openings. The first dorsal fin is large, high, stiff, and angular or somewhat rounded. The second dorsal and anal fins are minute. The caudal peduncle has a couple of less distinct keels. The teeth are gigantic. The fifth gill opening is in front of the pectoral fin and spiracles are sometimes absent. They are heavily built sharks, sometimes weighing nearly twice as much as sharks of comparable length from other families. Many sharks in the family are among the fastest-swimming fish, although the massive great white shark is slower due to its great size.
Genera and species
The family contains five living species in three genera and these selected extinct genera and species:
- Genus †Carchariolamna Hora, 1939
- Genus Carcharodon Smith, 1838
- Genus †Corax Agassiz 1843
- Genus †Cosmopolitodus Glikman, 1964
- Genus †Carcharomodus
- Genus Isurus Rafinesque, 1810
- Isurus oxyrinchus Rafinesque, 1810 (shortfin mako)
- Isurus paucus Guitart-Manday, 1966 (longfin mako)
- †Isurus desori Agassiz, 1843
- †Isurus flandricus Leriche, 1910
- †Isurus minutus Agassiz, 1843
- †Isurus nakaminatoensis Saito, 1961
- †Isurus planus Agassiz, 1856
- †Isurus praecursor Leriche, 1905
- †Isurus rameshi Mehrotra, Mishra & Srivastava, 1973
- Genus †Isurolamna Cappetta, 1976
- Genus †Karaisurus Kozlov in Zhelezko & Kozlov, 1999
- Genus †Lamiostoma Glikman, 1964
- Genus Lamna Cuvier, 1816
- Genus †Lethenia Leriche, 1910
- Genus †Macrorhizodus Glikman, 1964
- ^ a b Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2009). "Lamnidae" in FishBase. January 2009 version.
- ^ ISBN 9781258302863: A source-book of biological names and terms, 1944, Edmund Carroll Jaeger
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). "Lamnidae" in FishBase. March 2006 version.