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Temporal range: 146–0 Ma
Early Cretaceous to Present
Mistukurina owstoni museum victoria.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Superorder: Selachimorpha
Order: Lamniformes
Family: Mitsukurinidae
D. S. Jordan, 1898
  • Scapanorhynchidae

Mitsukurinidae is a family of sharks with one living genus, Mitsukurina, and five fossil genera: Anomotodon, Protoscapanorhynchus, Pseudoscapanorhynchus and Scapanorhynchus, Woellsteinia[1] though some taxonomists consider Scapanorhynchus to be a synonym of Mitsukurina.[2][3] The only known living species is the goblin shark, Mitsukurina owstoni.

The most distinctive characteristic of the goblin sharks is the long, trowel-shaped, beak-like snout, much longer than those of other sharks. The snout contains sensory organs to detect the electrical signals given off by the shark's prey.[4] They also possess long, protrusible jaws.[5] When the jaws are retracted, the shark resembles a grey nurse shark, Carcharias taurus, with an unusually long nose.


  1. ^ Mikko's Phylogeny Archive
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2010). "List of Nominal Species of Mitsukurinidae (Goblin shark)". FishBase. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  3. ^ "Scapanorhynchus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  4. ^ Stevens, J. & Last, P.R. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N., eds. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 63. ISBN 0-12-547665-5. 
  5. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2005). "Mitsukurina owstoni" in FishBase. 10 2005 version.