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Temporal range: 196–0 Ma
Sinemurian to present[1]
Hexanchus griseus (Bluntnose sixgill shark).gif
Bluntnose sixgill shark
(Hexanchus griseus)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Hexanchiformes
Family: Hexanchidae
Genus: Hexanchus
Rafinesque, 1810

See text

The sixgill sharks are a genus, Hexanchus, of deepwater sharks in the family Hexanchidae. These sharks are characterized by a broad, pointed head, six pairs of gill slits, comb-like, yellow lower teeth, and a long tail. The largest species can grow up to 8 m long and weigh over 600 kg (1320 lb).[2] They are continental shelf-dwelling and abyssal plain scavengers with a keen sense of smell and are among the first to arrive at carrion, together with hagfish and rattails. They show a characteristic rolling motion of the head when feeding. They have been found at depths to 2,500 ft (760 m).[citation needed] Though only two extant species (the bluntnose sixgill shark and the bigeyed sixgill shark) were originally known, a third, the Atlantic sixgill shark, was found to exist.[3][4]

Extant species[edit]

Extinct species[edit]

Fossil teeth of Hexanchus andersoni from Jurassic

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sepkoski, Jack (2002). "A compendium of fossil marine animal genera (Chondrichthyes entry)". Bulletins of American Paleontology. 364: 560. Archived from the original on 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  2. ^ Kindersley, Dorling (2001,2005). Animal. New York City: DK Publishing. ISBN 0-7894-7764-5. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  3. ^ https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180220122928.htm
  4. ^ https://phys.org/news/2018-02-species-shark-genetic.html
  5. ^ https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180220122928.htm
  6. ^ https://phys.org/news/2018-02-species-shark-genetic.html

External links[edit]