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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
Sclerorhynchus solomonis[verification needed], from Mount Lebanon. Rostrum with portion of cranium and pectoral fin at bottom.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Superorder: Batoidea
Order: see text
Suborder: Sclerorhynchoidea
Family: Sclerorhynchidae
Genus: Sclerorhynchus
Woodward, 1889

Sclerorhynchus atavus
Sclerorhynchus pettersi Case & Cappetta, 1997
[verification needed]

Sclerorhynchus is an extinct genus of primitive batoidean that lived in the Cretaceous. The namesake of the Mesozoic suborder Sclerorhynchoidea, it is not quite clear whether they were closer to the Rajiformes (skates and rays) or to the Pristiformes (sawfishes). Its fossils have been found mainly around the Mediterranean region. The related Ganopristis might actually belong in Sclerorhynchus.

Sclerorhynchus was about 1 metre (3.3 ft) long, and looked somewhat like a modern sawfish, having a long snout with tooth-like serrations along the sides. In other respects, it looked like a flattened shark with enlarged, wing-like pectoral fins. It probably used these to glide over the ocean floor, propelled by its tail, weeding out shrimps, shellfish and flounders from the sand with its long snout.[1]


  1. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 29. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.