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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
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Superorder: Selachimorpha
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. It can grow up to 5 m (18 ft) long and weigh over 600 kg (1320 lb).[2] They are 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]

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. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  2. ^ Kindersley, Dorling (2001,2005). Animal. New York City: DK Publishing. ISBN 0-7894-7764-5.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]