Home Previous Random Next Search
meaning: "Spade snout"
Named By: Woodwood in 1889
Time Period: Early Cretaceous-Miocene
Location: Worldwide
Size: Specimens indicate a length of approximately 65 centimetres, but some larger fossil teeth hint at a much larger size of up to 3 meters long
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Fossil(s): Usually just the teeth, some complete body impressions are also known
Classification: | Chordata | Chondrichthyes | Elasmobranchii | Selachimorpha | Mitsukurinidae |

Scapanorhynchus ("Spade Snout") is an extinct genus of shark that lived from the early Cretaceous until possibly the Miocene if S. subulatus is a mitsukurinid and not a sand shark. Their extreme similarities to the living goblin shark, Mitsukurina owstoni, lead some experts to consider reclassifying it as Scapanorhynchus owstoni. However, most shark specialists regard the goblin shark to be distinct enough from its prehistoric relatives to merit placement in its own genus.

Scapanorhynchus had an elongated, albeit flattened snout and sharp awl-shaped teeth ideal for seizing fish, or tearing chunks of flesh from its prey. It was a small shark normally measuring about 65 cm, though the largest species, S. texanus, is thought to have reached up to 3 m (10 ft) in length, about the size of a modern goblin shark.

Read more about Scapanorhynchus at Wikipedia
PaleoCodex is a weekend hack by Saurav Mohapatra