Class Chondrichthyes includes chimaeras, sharks and rays. The skeletons of these fish are composed of cartilage and do not contain true bone although the notochord is calcified to form bone-like vertebrae. They are also distinguished from the bony fish in lacking a swim bladder and bony operculum protecting the gills. The scales do not overlap and the tail is typically asymmetric, having a larger upper lobe.
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Includes catsharks, houndsharks, weasel sharks, requiem sharks, and hammerhead sharks. Well-known species include bull sharks, tiger sharks, blue sharks, and whitetip reef sharks.
Heterodontiformes is an order of sharks, members of which are known as bullhead or Port Jackson sharks.
Hexanchiformes is an order of sharks, members of which include the frilled shark and several species of cow shark.
The chimaeras are characterized by having tooth plates in their mouths for crushing hard food and a dorsal spine with a venom sac at its base. They are found in deep subarctic and Antarctic waters and are an evolutionary backwater.
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Lamniformes is an order of sharks. They are very varied with ten genera in seven families, and include the harmless basking shark and the dangerous great white shark.
Lepisosteiformes is an ancient order of primitive ray-finned fish, fossils of which are known from the late Cretaceous onwards.
Orectolobiformes is an order of sharks, there being seven families and five genera. They are very varied and include the wobbegongs and nurse sharks which are both very sluggish, and the whale shark, the biggest fish of all.
Pristiformes is an order of sharks, commonly known as saw sharks, containing two genera, Pristiophorus and pliotrema.
Rajiformes is an order of fish, the skates, rays and swordfish, and includes the families Anacanthobatidae, Dasyatidae, Gymnuridae, Hexatrygonidae, Myliobatidae, Plesiobatidae, Potamotrygonidae, Rajidae, Rhinobatidae and Urolophidae.
Squaliformes is an order of sharks, members of which are commonly known as bramble, gulper, sleeper and dogfish sharks.
Squatiniformes is an order of sharks containing one genus, Squatinus, members of which are flattened and superficially like rays.
Torpediniformes includes two families of fish, the Narcinidae and Torpedinidae, both of which are commonly known as electric rays.