Ischyodus was rather similar to the present-day chimaera Chimaera monstrosa, which is found in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Just like C. monstrosa, Ischyodus had large eyes, a long whip-like tail, small lips, large pectoral fins and dorsal fin, and a dorsal spike attached to the front of the dorsal fin. The spike probably served as a method of protection against predators, and may have been venomous, as it is in modern chimaeras.
Dental plates of at least two species, Ischyodus rayhaasi and Ischyodus dolloi, have been found at several sites in North Dakota.
^Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 29. ISBN1-84028-152-9.
^Hoganson, J. W. and J. M. Erickson. 2005. A new species of Ischyodus (Chondrichthyes: Holocephali: Callorhynchidae) from Upper Maastrichtian shallow marine facies of the Fox Hills and Hell Creek formations, Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA. Palaeontology 48: 709-721. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2005.00475.x