Terms For The Anatomy And Biology Of Shark-Like Fishes
Accessory dorsal marginal: In the clasper skeleton, a flat cartilage on the posterior end of the dorsal marginal cartilage that supports the cover rhipidion.
Adductor mandibulae muscles: Paired head muscles originating on the lateral faces of the quadrate process of the palatoquadrates and inserting on the lateral surface of the Meckel’s cartilages: the primaryjaw-closing muscles of sharks.
Adelphophagy: Foetus-eating, a mode of live-bearing reproduction employing uterine cannibalism: early foetuses deplete their yolk-sacks early and subsist by first eating their smaller siblings and then eating nutritive eggs produced by the mother. At present only known for certain in the sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus), but suspected in a few other lamnoids.
Alternate teeth: Small oral teeth with asymmetrical crowns that form two interdigitated rows on the symphysis, with the cusps of each row hooked mesially towards the opposite row. Additional paired rows of alternates may be present distal to the symphysial rows.
Amphitemperate: Referring to a species that occurs in temperate water in the northern and southern hemispheres, but is absent from the tropics.
Annular rings or annuli: In a vertebral centrum in cross section, rings of calcified cartilage separated by uncalcified cartilage that occupy the intermedialia only, or concentric rings that cross both the intermedialia and basalia.
Anterior: Forward, in the longitudinal direction of the snout tip. Also, cranial.
Anterior fontanelle: On the elasmobranch neurocranium, an aperture on the anterodorsomedial surface, usually at the rear of the ethmoid region and forming a passage into the internal cranial cavity. It is closed by a tough membrane, varies tremendously in shape, and may be pinched off by the medially expanded orbits in a few sharks.
Anterior nasal flap: Aflap on the front edges of the nostrils, that serves to partially divide the nostril into incurrent and excurrent apertures or openings.
Anterodorsal palpebral depressor muscle: In the orectoloboid family Parascylliidae, paired head muscles that originate at the insertions of the preorbitalis muscles on the anterolateroventral face of the Meckel’s cartilage, and insert on the skin of the upper eyelid anterior to the eye. These are possibly for depressing the upper eyelids and closing the eyes, and are not found in any other sharks.
Antorbital cartilages: On the neurocranium of sawsharks and batoids, separate cartilages attached to the sides of the nasal capsules that support the sides or front of the head.
Apex: In precaudal fins, the distal tip, which can be acutely pointed to broadly rounded.
Aplacental viviparity: Live-bearing in which the young do not have a yolk-sac placenta. Found in all groups of live-bearing sharks.
Aplesodic fin: A pectoral, pelvic, dorsal, or anal fin in which the fin radial cartilages do not extend into the distal fin web and between the supporting ceratotrichia of the fin web. Modern sharks always have aplesodic caudal fins, in which the haemal arches of the caudal vertebrae do not support the ventral caudal lobe.
Apopyle: The anterior opening of the clasper, on the anteromesial surface of the clasper and close to the vent. The apopyle receives sperm from the cloaca and fluid from the siphons, which enter the clasper groove and are discharged through the hypopyle. Apopyle is also used for clasper skeletons for the anterior opening of the tubular shafts formed by enlarged marginal and axial cartilages.
Axial cartilage: In the clasper skeleton, the elongated ventral rod or plate-shaped cartilage that forms the main support of the clasper. Also termed appendix-stem.
Barbels: Long conical paired dermal lobes on the snouts of sharks, that may serve to locate prey. Sawsharks have barbels on the underside of the snout in front of the nostrils as in sturgeon, but most barbelled sharks have them associated with the nostrils, either as an extension of the anterior nasal flaps or as separate structures medial to the nasal apertures.
Basal: In oral teeth, a proximal direction towards the crown foot and roots.
Basal cartilages or basais: In precaudal fins the large cartilages of the fin bases, immediately distal to the pectoral and pelvic fin girdles or the vertebral column (dorsal and anal fins), on which the radiais articulate distally. The paired pectoral fins of living sharks primitively have a tribasal pectoral fin, with a propterygium, mesopterygium, and metapterygium as basais, although these may be fused: in batoids, additional neopterygial basais may be added between the mesopterygium and metapterygium and the propterygium is variably expanded anterior with a propterygia! basal and axis. The pelvic fins have a basipterygium that supports the pelvic radiais and, in males, the claspers. The caudal fin has no basais, but these are functionally replaced by expanded neural and haemal arches of the vertebral column.
Basal communicating canals: See subnasal fenestrae.
Basal groove: In oral teeth, a deep groove proximal to the basal ledge on the labial surface of the crown neck and apical root margin.
Basal ledge: In oral teeth, a shelf-like projection on the labial surface of the crown foot.
Basal plate: The floor of the cranial cavity of the neurocranium, a ventral, medial plate extending from the ethmoid region between the orbits and otic capsules and below the cranial cavity to the occipital condyles, occipital centrum and foramen magnum.
Basais or basalia: In a vertebral centrum, the diagonal spaces below the attachment surfaces of the basidorsal cartilages, above the basiventral cartilages, and between the two halves of the double eone. Basalia may be filled with uncalcified cartilage, may have diagonal calcifications penetrating the uncalcified cartilage, or may have calcified annuli or solid calcified cartilage that are continuous with calcification of the intermedialia. See diagonal calcifications and intermedialia.
Base: In precaudal fins, the proximal part of the fin between the origin and insertion, extending distally, and supported by the cartilaginous fin skeleton. In the caudal fin, that thickened longitudinal part of the fin enclosing the vertebral column and between the epaxial and hypaxial lobes or webs of the fin. In oral teeth, the proximal root and crown foot, in apposition to the distal cusp. In denticles, the proximal anchoring structures, often with four or more lobes, holding the denticles in the skin.
Basidorsal cartilages: A pair of wedge-shaped arched, thin cartilages articulating with the dorsolateral surfaces of a vertebral centrum and forming a continuous neural arch with the interdorsal cartilages to protect the spinal cord.
Basipterygium: The large elongate longitudinal cartilage at the fin base of the pelvic fin, attached to the posterolateral ends of the pelvic girdle or puboischiadic bar. The basipterygium has pelvic radiais attached along its distal edge and has the clasper skeleton attached posteriorly in males.
Basiventral cartilages: A pair of rounded or wedge-shaped cartilages on the ventrolateral surfaces of a vertebral centrum that form the bases for attachment of ribs in monospondylous precaudal vertebrae. In diplospondylous precaudal and caudal vertebrae the basiventrals form haemal arches along with the interventral cartilages for protecting the caudal artery and vein.
Batoid: A ray or flat or winged shark, a neoselachian of the superorder Squalomorphii, order Rajiformes: a sawfish, sharkray, wedgefish, guitarfish, thornray, panray, electric ray, skate, stingray, butterfly ray, eagle ray, cownose ray, devil ray or manta. Rays are closely allied to the sawsharks (Pristiophoriformes) and angel sharks (Squatiniformes), but differ from them in having the pectoral fins fused to the sides of the head over the gili openings, which are ventral rather than laterally or ventrolaterally placed.
Beta cartilage: In the clasper skeleton, a single, dorsolateral flattened, wedge-shaped or cylindrical cartilage.
connecting the pelvic basipterygium and axial cartilage and reinforcing the intermediate segments, possibly derived from a pelvic radial.
Blade: In oral teeth, an arcuate, convex-edged section of the cutting edge of the crown foot, without cusplets.
Body: Can refer to an entire shark, sometimes restricted to the trunk and precaudal tail.
Branchial arches: The paired visceral arches behind the hyoid arch and just in front of the scapulocoracoid that support the gills. In elasmobranchs the five to seven branchial arches primitively consist of a pair of dorsomedial and wedge-shaped cartilages, the pharyngobranchials, closely situated against the roof of the pharynx, a pair of dorsolateral and more cylindrical epibranchials that are connected dorsomedially to the pharyngobranchials, a pair of ventrolateral cylindrical ceratobranchials that are connected ventrolaterally to the epibranchials, a pair of ventromedial hypobranchials that are connected ventrolaterally to the ceratobranchials, and unpaired ventrom edial basibranchials that are connected ventrolaterally to the hypobranchials. The hypobranchials and basibranchials along with the expanded ventral ends of the ceratobranchials form the basibranchia! skeleton of the floor of the branchial pharynx. The branchial skeleton is variably modified in elasmobranchs, with basibranchials and sometimes hypobranchials often lost, the last two pharyngobranchials and the last epibranchial often fused together, and the last basibranchia! often expanded into a long, broad copula with which the anterior hypobranchials and posterior ceratobranchials articulate.
Calcified cartilage: Shark skeletons are formed of hyaline cartilage or gristle, but this is often reinforced with layers of calcified cartilage, cartilage impregnated with a mineral, hydroxyapatite, similar to that of bone but organized differently, in a hard, tile-like pavement of tiny tesserae, or more compactly as in the calcified structures of vertebral centra.
Calcified double cones: In vertebrae, the primary calcifications of the notochordal sheath, in lateral view resembling two hollow, horizontal cones with their apices merged, oran hourglass.
Cannibal viviparity: See uterine cannibalism.
Carcharhinoid: A ground shark, a member of the order Carcharhiniformes, and including the catsharks, false catsharks, finbacked catsharks, barbeled houndsharks, houndsharks, weasel sharks, requiem sharks and hammerheads.
Carina: On the crowns of oral teeth, a low blunt mesodistal ridge replacing the cusp and cutting edge, in sharks that eat hard-shelled invertebrate prey.
Carotid foramen: A single foramen or one of a pair of foramina that penetrate the basal plate usually near its midlength and allow passage of the internal carotid arteries into the cranial cavity. In some advanced elasmobranchs the carotid foramina shift through the stapedial foramina and onto the medial wall of the orbit.
Cartilaginous fishes: Members of the class
Caudal crest: A prominent saw-like row of enlarged pointed denticles along the dorsal caudal margin and sometimes along the ventral caudal margin of the caudal fin. Found in certain sharks including hexanchoids and some carcharhinoids.
Caudal keels: A dermal keel on each side of the caudal peduncle that may extend onto the base of the caudal fin, and may, in a few sharks, extend forward as a body keel to the side of the trunk.
Central foramen: In oral teeth, a nutrient foramen on the midline of the lingual surface of the root, in the transverse groove.
Centrum (plural. Centra): A spool-shaped, partially or usually fully calcified structure that forms as a segmental constriction in the notochordal sheath of neoselachians, and which as an articulated string forms the principal structural units of the vertebral column. Centra are primarily formed by the calcified double cones in the notochordal sheath, which may be their only calcification, but additional secondary calcification may occur in the centrum between the outer surfaces of the calcified double cones, including calcified intermedialia, radii, annuli, and diagonal calcifications.
Ceratotrichia: Slender soft or stiff filaments of an elastic protein, superficially resembling keratin or horn, from the Greek keratos, horn, and trichos, hair. Ceratotrichia run in parallel and radial to the fin base and support the fin webs. The prime ingredient of shark-fin soup.
Chimaera: A member of the order Chimaeriformes, subclass holocephali, see also Chimaeroid, Holocephali.
Chimaeroid: A chimaera, ratfish, silver shark, ghost shark, spookfish or elephant fish, a member of the order Chimaeriformes.
Chondrichthyan: Referring to the class Chondrichthyes.
Chondrichthyes: The class Chondrichthyes, from Greek chondros, cartilage, and ichthos, fish, a major taxonomic group of aquatic, gill-breathing, jawed, finned vertebrates with primarily cartilaginous skeletons, 1 to 7 external gili openings, oral teeth in transverse rows on their jaws, and mostly small, tooth-like scales or dermal denticles. Chondrichthyes include the living elasmobranchs and holocephalans and their numerous fossil relatives, and also can be termed shark-like fishes or simply sharks.
Chondrocranium: See neurocranium.
Circumnarial fold: A raised semicircular, lateral flap of skin around the incurrent aperture of a nostril, in heterodontoids, orectoloboids, and a few batoids, defined by a circumnarial groove.
Circumnarial groove: A shallow groove defining the lateral bases of the circumnarial folds.
Clasper claws: In parascylliid orectoloboids, a longitudinal row of large anterolaterally directed claw-like denticles on the dorsolateral surface of the clasper glans, supported by the terminal ventral.
Clasper dactyl: In parascylliid orectoloboids, a large finger-like process on the medial face of the clasper, supported by the dorsal terminal and having a mesospur, an analogue to the lateral spur or spine of the terminal 3 cartilage of other orectoloboids and other sharks.
Clasper gaff or hook: In the external clasper glans, a posterior hook-like structure, like a clasper spur but formed from the dorsal terminal cartilage, found in squaloids of the family Squalidae.
Clasper glans: The distal and dorsal part of the external clasper from the hypopyle to its tip, and including various movable terminal structures: also, the same area of the clasper skeleton.
Clasper groove: The longitudinal groove through the clasper, surrounded by the axial and marginal cartilages, and connecting the apopyle and hypopyle.
Clasper hooks: In the clasper glans of some carcharhinoid sharks, small claw-like dermal denticles arranged in a row along the ventral surface of the free edge of the exorhipidion.
Clasper sacs: Dermal sacs with longitudinally ribbed walls on the ventral and medial surfaces of the claspers of hexanchoids.
Clasper spine: In the external clasper, a projection of the terminal 3 cartilage on the lateral surface of the clasper glans, which forms a short to long, acutely pointed, spine that is covered with shiny hard tissue, possibly enameloid, dentine or both. In some squaloids other terminal cartilages may have spines.
Clasper spur: In the external clasper, a projection of the terminal 3 cartilage on the lateral surface of the clasper glans, which may be pointed but is not covered with shiny hard tissue.
Clasper tip: The posterior end of a clasper.
Claspers: The paired copulatory organs present on the pelvic fins of male cartilaginous fishes, for internal fertilization of eggs, also termed mixopterygia.
Classification: The ordering of organisms into groups on the basis of their relationships, which may be by similarity or common ancestry.
Cloaca: The common chamber at the rear of the body cavity of elasmobranchs through which body wastes and reproductive products including sperm, eggs, and young pass, to be expelled to the outside through a common opening or vent.
Cover rhipidion: On the external clasper glans, an elongated, longitudinal blade or flap on its dorsomedial external edge, often supported by an accessory dorsal marginal cartilage.
Cranial cavity: The central cavity of the neurocranium, containing the brain, pituitary gland, and roots of the cranial nerves. It extends posteriorly between the orbits and otic capsules to the foramen magnum.
Cranial roof: The anterior roof of the cranial cavity of the neurocranium, a dorsomedial, arched or flattened plate extending from the anterior fontanelle and between the orbits to the parietal fossa of the otic capsule. Sometimes perforated by a frontal or parietal foramen or fenestra, which may be continuous with the anterior fontanelle and can occupy most of the cranial roof.
Craniomandibular muscles: Paired head muscles in heterodontoid sharks that originate from long tendons on the medial walls of the orbits that extend below and transverse to the levator palatoquadrati and spiracular constrictor muscles and behind the spiracles to insert on the posterodorsolateral face of the Meckel’s cartilages. They are found in no other sharks and may serve to retract or elevate the jaws.
Crown: The distal part of the oral tooth, almost entirely covered with shiny enameloid except for the neck. In denticles, a flat dorsal plate-like or thorn-like structure, elevated above the denticle base on a stalk or pedicle or confluent with the base.
Crown foot: The expanded, proximal, basal part of the crown, often bearing cusplets or blades.
Cusp: A usually pointed large distal projection of the crown. A primary cusp is situated on the midline of the crown foot. Multicuspid refers to oral teeth or denticles with more than one cusp. In lateral trunk denticles, the posterior ends of the crown may have medial and lateral cusps, sharp or blunt projections associated with the medial and lateral ridges.
Cusplet: As with a cusp, but a small projection in association with a cusp, and usually mesial and distal but not medial on the crown foot.
Cutting edge: In oral teeth, the compressed sharp longitudinal ridge on the mesodistal edges of the crown.
Dentine: The primary material of shark oral teeth, a hard tissue with numerous vascular and nonvascular canals.
Dermal denticle or placoid scale: A small tooth-like scale found in cartilaginous fishes, covered with enameloid, with a core and base of dentine and usually small and often close-set to one another and covering the body. A few nonbatoid sharks, many batoids, and chimaeroids generally have them enlarged and sparse or reduced in numbers.
Dermal lobes: In wobbegongs, family Orectolobidae, narrow or broad-based, simple or branched projections of skin along the horizontal head rim and on the chin.
Diagonal calcifications: In a vertebral centrum in cross-section, plate-like (diagonal calcified lamellae) or knob-like (diagonal calcified lobes) structures of calcified cartilage that partially fills the uncalcified basalia. These have a radial orientation from the centre of the centrum.
Diplospondylous vertebrae: Vertebrae of the tail with two centra and two basidorsal and basiventral elements per segment, and mostly with a haemal arch formed by the basiventral and interventral elements. These include diplospondylous precaudal vertebrae between the monospondylous vertebrae and the base of the caudal fin, and diplospondylous caudal vertebrae in the caudal fin.
Dorsal: Upwards, in the vertical direction of the back. See ventral.
Dorsal fin spine: A small to large enameloid-covered, dentine-cored spine located on the anterior margins of one or both of the dorsal fins, found on bullhead sharks (Heterodontiformes), many dogfish sharks, fossil (but not living) batoids, chimaeroids, but lost entirely or buried in the fin bases of other shark-like fishes.
Dorsal margin: In the caudal fin, the margin from the upper origin to its posterior tip. Usually continuous, but in angel sharks (Squatiniformes) with their hypocercal, superficially inverted caudal fins, it is subdivided. See squatinoid caudal fin.
Dorsal marginal: In the clasper skeleton, a flat semicylindrica! cartilage that is partially fused to the medial edge of the axial cartilage, and forms the medial wall of the clasper groove.
Dorsal terminal: On the skeleton of the clasper glans, an often triangular, elongated, curved, plate-like cartilage that articulates or is attached to the medial or dorsomedial edge of the end-style and anteriorly to the dorsal marginal.
Dorsal terminal 2: Aflat elongated cartilage with its mesial edge attached to the floor of the glans, and supporting the rhipidion.
Ectethmoid chambers: On the neurocranium, cavities in the nasal capsule that drain the nasal sinuses through the orbitonasal canals into the orbital sinuses.
Ectethmoid processes: On the neurocranium of hexanchoid and some squaloid sharks, posteroventrolateral angular or lobular projections of the nasal capsules and the preorbital walls.
Egg case: Astiff-walled elongate-oval, rounded rectangular, conical, or dart-shaped capsule that surrounds the eggs of oviparous sharks, and is deposited by the female shark on the substrate. It is analogous to the shell of a bird’s egg and is made of protein, which is a type of collagen that superficially resembles horn or keratin. Egg cases often have pairs of tendrils or horn-like structures on their ends, or flat flanges on their sides or spiral flanges around their lengths, which anchor the cases to the bottom. As the egg travels from the ovaries into the oviducts and through the nidamental glands, the egg case is secreted around it and the egg is fertilized. Live-bearing sharks may retain egg cases, and these vary from being rigid and similar to those of oviparous sharks to soft, bag-like, degenerate and membranous. Soft egg cases may disintegrate during the birth cycle.
Elasmobranch: Referring to the subclass Elasmobranchii.
Elasmobranchii: The subclass Elasmobranchii, (from Greek elasmos, plate, and branchos, gills, in allusion to their plate-like gili septa), the shark-like fishes other than the Holocephali or chimaeras, and including the living nonbatoid sharks, batoids, and a host of fossil species. They differ from holocephalans in having 5 to 7 pairs of gili openings open to the exterior and not covered by a soft gili cover, oral teeth separate and not formed as tooth plates, a fixed first dorsal fin with or without a fin spine, and a short spined or spineless second dorsal.
Embryo: An earlier development stage of the young of a live-bearing shark, ranging from nearly microscopic to moderate-sized but not like a miniature adult. See foetus.
Enameloid: The shiny hard external coating of the crowns of shark oral teeth, superficially similar to enamel in land vertebrates.
End-style: In the clasper skeleton, the posterior end of the axial cartilage, between the dorsal and ventral terminal cartilages.
Endemic: A species or higher taxonomic group of organisms that is only found in a given area. It can include national endemics found in a river system or along part or all of the coast of a given country, but also regional endemics, found off or in adjacent countries with similar habitat, but not elsewhere.
Epaxial web: The entire fin web above the vertebral column and caudal base.
Epiphysial foramen or notch: On the neurocranium, a foramen or notch in the cranial roof at the dorsomedial edge of the anterior fontanelle, that houses the pineal body.
Ethmoid region: That anteriormost sector of the neurocranium including the nasal capsules, internasal plate between them, and the rostrum.
Ethmonuchal muscles: In the orectoloboid family Parascylliidae, paired head muscles that originate on the dorsal myomeres of the nape, and insert via long tendons on the nasal capsules. These are possibly for elevating the snout. Not found in any other sharks, though analogous muscles exist in batoids.
Euselachian: Referring to the Euselachii.
Euselachii: The cohort Euselachii (Greek Eu, true, good or original, and selachos, shark or cartilaginous fish), the
spined or ‘phalacanthous’ sharks, including the modern sharks or Neoselachii, and fossil shark groups including the hybodonts, the ctenacanths, and the xenacanths, all primitively with anal fins and having two dorsal fins with fin spines.
Excurrent apertures: The posterior and ventrally facing openings of the nostrils, which direct water out of the nasal cavities and which are often partially covered by the anterior nasal flaps. These are usually medial on the nostrils and posteromedial to the incurrent apertures, but may be posterior to the incurrent apertures only.
Exorhipidion: In claspers, a longitudinally elongated, external blade or flap with its base attached to the dorsolateral edge of the clasper glans, and with its free edge directed medially. It is supported by the ventral terminal 2 cartilage.
Eye notch: A sharp anterior or posterior indentation in the eyelid, where present cleanly dividing the upper and lower eyelids.
Filter screens: In the whale shark (Rhincodontidae) and devil rays (Mobulidae), transverse bars with lateral dermal lobes on the internal gili openings that form devices for screening out plankton.
Fin skeletons: In unpaired precaudal fins, the basal plates and radiais; in the caudal fin, the vertebral column including expanded neural and haemal arches; and in the paired fins, the fin girdles, basais, and radiais.
Fin web: The usually thin, compressed part of the fin, distal to the base, that is supported by ceratotrichia alone (in aplesodic fins) or by ceratotrichia surrounding expanded fin radiais or by radiais only (plesodic fin).
First dorsal constrictor muscles: Paired head muscles that are confluent and functionally part of the levator palatoquadrati muscles in most nonbatoid sharks, except in orectoloboids where they are discrete muscles with separate origins and insertions similar to but more lateral than the levators.
Foetus: A later development stage of the unborn young of a live-bearing shark, that essentially resembles a small adult. Term foetuses are ready to be born, and generally have oral teeth and denticles erupting, have a colour pattern (often more striking than adults), and, in ovoviviparous sharks, have their yolk-sacs reabsorbed.
Foramen magnum: On the neurocranium, the ‘great hole’ or posteromedial aperture through the occiput into the cranial cavity, above the occipital centrum and medial and usually dorsal to the occipital condyles. The spinal cord passes from the brain through the foramen magnum into the neural canal of the vertebral column.
Free rear tips: The pectoral, pelvic, dorsal, and anal fins all have a movable rear corner or flap, the free rear tip, that is separated from the trunk or tail by a notch and an inner margin. In some sharks the rear tips of some fins are very elongated.
Frontal and parietal fenestrae: On the neurocranium, medial apertures in the cranial roof between the anterior fontanelle and the parietal fossa, the frontal fenestra being closer to the anterior fontanelle and the parietal fenestra to the parietal fossa. Sometimes the two merge and become a frontoparietal fenestra, while in many batoids and in some orectoloboid sharks there is a merging of the anterior fontanelle with the frontoparietal fenestra so that it extends nearly to the parietal fossa. All of these fenestrae are closed by tough membranes.
Galeomorphi: Referring to the Galeomorphi!.
Galeomorphii: The neoselachian superorder Galeomorphi!, including the heterodontoid, lamnoid, orectoloboid, and carcharhinoid sharks.
Gili openings or slits: In elasmobranchs, the paired rows of five to seven transverse openings on the sides or underside of the head for the discharge of water through the gills. Chimaeras have their four gili openings hidden by a soft gili cover and discharge water through a single external gili opening.
Gill-raker denticles: In the basking shark (Cetorhinidae), elongated denticles with hair-like cusps arranged in rows on the internal gili openings, which filter out planktonic organisms.
Gill-raker papillae: Sparse to dense dermal papillae on the gili arches of some sharks that serve as filters to collect small food organisms.
Girdle: A bar of cartilage buried in the body wall that supports the basais of the paired fins: the pectoral girdle (scapulocoracoid) and pelvic girdle (puboischiadic bar).
Flaemal arch: The arch ventral to the notochord or vertebral centra on tail vertebrae that is formed by the basiventrals and interventrals and which houses the caudal artery and caudal vein in a haemal canal.
Flaemal spines: On the haemal arches of the diplospondylous precaudal and caudal vertebrae, elongated ventral surfaces forming vertical plates, particularly well-developed on the caudal fin.
Flead: That part of a cartilaginous fish from its snout tip to the last or (in chimaeras) only gili slits.
Heterodonty: In oral teeth, structural differences between teeth in various positions on the jaws, between teeth in the same position during different life stages, or between teeth in the same positions in the two sexes.
Hexanchoid: A cowshark or frilled shark, members of the order Hexanchiformes, and including the sixgill sharks, sevengill sharks, and frilled sharks.
Holocephalan: Referring to the Holocephali.
Holocephali: The subclass Holocephali (from Greek holos, entire, and kephalos, head), the living chimaeras and their numerous fossil relatives, a major subdivision of the class Chondrichthyes. The name is in reference to the fusion of the upper jaws or palatoquadrates to the skull in all living species and in many but not all fossils. The living holocephalans include three families in the order Chimaeriformes. The living species differ from elasmobranchs in having four pairs of gili openings covered by a soft gili cover and with a single pair of external gili openings, oral teeth fused and reduced to three pairs of ever-growing tooth plates, an erectile first dorsal fin with a spine and a long, low spineless second dorsal.
Holotype: Either the only specimen used and mentioned in an original description of a species, with or without a designation of such, or one of two or more specimens used and mentioned in an original description of a species and designated as such. This becomes the ‘name-bearer’ of the species, and is used to validate the species or scientific name by anchoring it to a single specimen.
Homodonty: In oral teeth, structural similarity between teeth in various positions on the jaws, between teeth in the same position during different life stages, or between teeth in the same positions in the two sexes.
Hyoid arch: The visceral arch that supports the tongue and, in elasmobranchs, the rear of the upperjaws. The hyoid arch is between the mandibular arch and the first branchial arch, and has the spiracular pocket between it and the mandibular arch. The hyoid arch in elasmobranchs includes a medial basihyoid in the floor of the mouth and inside the tongue, a pair of elongated ceratohyals articulating with the basihyoid and the hyomandibulae, and a pair of hyomandibulae articulating with the ceratohyals and the hyomandibular facets of the neurocranium. Chimaeroids have a nonsuspensory hyoid arch similar to the gili arches, with a pair of epihyals and pharyngohyals equivalent to the hyomandibulae. Batoids have the ceratohyals reduced and separated from the hyomandibulars or absent, and functionally replaced by paired dorsal and ventral pseudohyoids.
Hyomandibular facet: On the neurocranium of elasmobranchs, a joint surface, socket or cotyle that is usually on the ventrolateral surfaces of each otic capsule but may be extended posteriorly or arched dorsally. The heads of the hyomandibulae articulate with these facets. Chimaeras lack hyomandibular facets and differentiated hyomandibulae.
Hyomandibular nerve foramina: Foramina for the roots of the hyomandibular nerves, behind the orbital fissures. These foramina are confluent with the orbital fissure in many sharks.
Hypaxial web: The entire fin web below the vertebral column (vertebral axis) and the caudal base.
Hypercalcified structures: Parts of the skeleton that have developed extremely dense calcified cartilage, primarily during growth and maturation, which sometimes swell to knobs that distort and engulf existing cartilaginous structures. The rostrum of the salmon shark (Lamna ditropis) is a particularly impressive hypercalcified structure.
Hypopyle: On the external clasper and clasper skeleton, the posterior opening of the clasper groove onto the clasper glans.
Incurrent apertures: The anterior and ventrally facing openings of the nostrils, which direct water into the nasal cavities. These are usually lateral on the nostrils and anterolateral to the excurrent apertures, but may be anterior to the excurrent apertures only.
Independent dentition: Teeth along a mesodistal series in which the roots do not overlap and are separated by a space. See overlapping dentition.
Insertion: The posterior or rear end of the fin base in precaudal fins. The caudal fin lacks insertions except with many batoids and some chimaeroids that have a caudal filament that extends posterior to the fin. See origin.
Interdorsal cartilages: A pair of wedge-shaped arched thin cartilages fitting between the basidorsal cartilages of each vertebra to complete the neural arch.
Interdorsal ridge: A ridge of skin on the midback of sharks, in a line between the first and second dorsal fins; particularly important in identifying grey sharks (genus Carcharhinus, family Carcharhinidae).
Intermedialia: In a vertebral centrum, dorsal, ventral and lateral spaces between the attachment surfaces of the basidorsal and basiventral cartilages and between the two halves of the double eone. These can be filled with uncalcified cartilage, with solid or hollow wedges of calcified cartilage, or with plate-like, branched calcified radii within uncalcified cartilage. See basalia.
Intermediate segments: In the clasper skeleton, one or more short cylindrical cartilages connecting the pelvic basipterygium to the axial cartilage of the clasper. Also termed stem-joints.
Internasal plate or septum: On the neurocranium, a plate or partition between the two nasal capsules. It ranges from a vertical plate to a broad horizontal plate.
Interventral cartilages: A pair of rounded or wedge-shaped cartilages fitting between the basiventral cartilages of each vertebra, that in diplospondylous precaudal and caudal vertebrae form the haemal arches with the basiventral cartilages.
Intestinal valve: A dermal flap inside the intestine, protruding into its cavity or lumen, and of various forms in different cartilaginous fishes. Often formed like a corkscrew or augur. See spiral, ring and scroll valves.
Jaws: See mandibular arch.
Labial cartilages: Paired cartilages that are internal and support the labial folds at the lateral angles of the mouth. Living neoselachians typically have two pairs of upper labial cartilages, the anterodorsal and posterodorsal labial cartilages, and one pair of ventral labial cartilages, but these are variably reduced and sometimes absent in many sharks. Chimaeras have more elaborate labial cartilages than living elasmobranchs.
Labial flange: On tooth crowns of many squaloids and some orectoloboids, a narrow, vertically elongated labial basal ledge.
Labial furrows or labial grooves: Grooves around the mouth angles on the outer surface of the jaws of many cartilaginous fishes, isolating the labial folds. Primitively there is a distinct upper labial furrow above the mouth corner and a lower labial furrow below it.
Lamnoid: A mackerel shark, a member of the order Lamniformes, and including the sand tiger sharks, goblin sharks, crocodile sharks, megamouth shark, thresher sharks, basking shark, and the makos, porbeagle, salmon shark and white shark.
Lateral commissures: On the neurocranium, tube-like or ring-like enclosed passages for the lateral head veins, which drain the orbital sinuses, through the postorbital walls of the orbits and below the sphenopterotic ridges and above the hyomandibular facets in neoselachians. The lateral commissures are reduced or absent in many living neoselachians.
Lateral or laterad: Outwards, in the transverse direction towards the periphery of the body. See medial.
Lateral orolabial grooves: Shallow longitudinal grooves on the lowerjaw that connect the edge of the lip on each side with the medial ends of the lower labial furrows. Found in more advanced orectoloboids.
Lateral trunk denticle: A dermal denticle from the dorsolateral surface of the back below the first dorsal fin base.
Lectotype: One of two or more specimens that were syntypes in an original description, designated as a lectotype by a subsequent writer. It then becomes equivalent to a holotype, and anchors the name of the species to a specimen unless invalidated by a ruling of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature or a previous designation of a lectotype.
Levator palatoquadrati muscles: Paired head muscles that primitively originate on the underside of the postorbital processes and sphenopterotic ridges, extend vertically, and insert on the posteromedial surfaces of the quadrate processes of the palatoquadrates. In advanced carcharhinoids the origins of the levator palatoquadrati muscles are expanded far forwards and diagonally into the orbits. Primitively these muscles lift or retract the jaws upwards, but in advanced carcharhinoids may help rotate the jaws forwards and downwards in opposition to the levator hyomandibularis muscles, which retract the jaws.
Longitudinal ridges: In lateral trunk denticles, parallel ridges that extend anteroposteriorly on the distal surface of the crown. These may be in the form of a single medial ridge (sometimes paired), and paired lateral ridges, and may terminate in medial and lateral cusps.
Lower eyelid: The ventral half of the eyelid, separated by a deep pocket (conjunctival fornix) from the eyeball. In some derived batoids the pocket also fuses with the eyeball.
Lower origin: In the caudal fin, the anteroventral beginning of the hypaxial or lower web of the caudal fin, at the posterior end of the anal-caudal or pelvic-caudal space (see measurement illustrations).
Lower postventral margin: In the caudal fin, the lower part of the postventral margin of the hypaxial web, from the ventral tip to the posterior notch.
Mandibular arch: The paired primary jaw cartilages of sharks, including the dorsal palatoquadrates and the ventral Meckel’s cartilages.
Mandibulocutaneous muscles: Paired head muscles in squaloid and hexanchoid sharks, that originate on the inside of the skin of the head behind the eyes and near the spiracles, and insert on the dorsoposterolateral face of the quadrate processes of the palatoquadrates.
Meckel’s cartilages: The paired lower jaw cartilages, articulating mesially with each other at the midline or symphysis of the lowerjaw, and articulating laterally with the distal ends of the palatoquadrates. The Meckel’s cartilages are fused together at the symphysis in some shark-like fishes or are articulated to a symphysial cartilage in others.
Medial: Inwards, in the transverse direction towards the middle of the body. See lateral.
Mesopterygium: In the pectoral fin skeleton of living neoselachians, the middle basal cartilage, between the propterygium and metapterygium. The mesopterygium is sometimes fused to the propterygium or metapterygium, or to both.
Mesorhipidion: A knife-like or blade-like structure on the lateral clasper glans of some carcharhinoid sharks, formed from the terminal 3 cartilage, and over and partially lateral to the ventral terminal and mesial to the pseudopera.
Metapterygial axis: In the pectoral fin skeleton of living neoselachians, the posterior extension of the mesopterygium as a flattened, elongated segmented series of cartilages that supports the distal bases and free rear tips of the pectoral fins; the axis has radiais along its distal edge continuous with the radiais on the metapterygial basal.
Metapterygium: In the pectoral fin skeleton of living neoselachians, the rearmost basal cartilage, adjacent to the posterior edge of the mesopterygium and with several radiais attached to its distal edge. It includes the metapterygial basal and the metapterygial axis.
Monospondylous precaudal vertebrae: Vertebrae with one centrum and one pair of basidorsals, basiventrals, and ribs per body segment (myotome), and generally extending from the occiput to the end of the body cavity and to over the pelvic girdle. However there is much variation in the position of the monospondylous-diplospondylous transition, which can range well in front or behind the pelvic girdle.
Monospondylous-diplospondylous transition: The position on the vertebral column where monospondylous centra end and diplospondylous centra begin. In lateral view the transition often appears as an abrupt decrease in length of the diplospondylous centrum compared to the last monospondylous centrum, but this can be obscure in various sharks with very numerous, very short centra. Often a centrum of intermediate length appears between a long monospondylous centrum and a short diplospondylous centrum. In a few sharks there is a stutter zone of alternating long and short centra that marks the transition. Also, the basidorsals and basiventrals have foramina for the spinal nerves on every other vertebra, rather than on each vertebra as in monospondylous vertebrae. The transition from long to short centra is generally coordinated with the transition of vertebrae with free ribs and no haemal arches to those without ribs and with haemal arches. However, in some sharks the two transitions can be anterior or posterior to each other.
Multiple oviparity: A mode of egg-laying or oviparity in which female sharks retain several pairs of cased eggs in the oviducts, in which embryos grow to advanced developmental stages. When deposited on the bottom (in captivity) the eggs may take less than a month to hatch. Found only in the scyliorhinid genus Halaelurus, with some uncertainty as to whether the eggs are normally retained in
the oviducts until hatching. Eggs laid by these sharks may be abnormal, unusual, or an alternate to ovoviviparity. The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) may have multiple retention of egg cases; near-term foetuses have been found in their uteri and egg-cases with developing foetuses have been collected on the bottom.
Nasal aperture: On the neurocranium, an aperture in the anteroventral surface or floor of each nasal capsule, through which the nostril directs water into and out of the nasal organ.
Nasal capsules: On the neurocranium, a pair of spherical, oval or trumpet-shaped, thin-walled structures behind the rostrum (when present) and in front of the orbits, cranial roof and basal plate. They serve as containers for the nasal organs or organs of smell, and have passages into the cranial cavity to connect the nasal organs with the brain.
Nasal curtain: Anterior nasal flaps that are expanded medially and posteriorly and have fused with each other. Nasal curtains are found in some carcharhinoid sharks and in many batoids.
Nasal flap: One of a set of dermal flaps associated with the nostrils, and serving to direct water into and out of them, including the anterior, posterior, and mesonarial flaps.
Nasal fontanelle: On the neurocranium, an aperture in the posteroventral surface or floor of each nasal capsule, behind the nasal apertures and closed by a dermal membrane.
Nasoral grooves: Many bottom-dwelling, relatively inactive sharks have nasoral grooves, shallow or deep grooves on the ventral surface of the snout between the excurrent apertures and the mouth. The nasoral grooves are covered by expanded anterior nasal flaps that reach the mouth, and form water channels that allow the respiratory current to pull water by partial pressure into and out of the nostrils and into the mouth. This allows the shark to actively irrigate its nasal cavities while sitting still or when slowly moving. Nasoral grooves occur in heterodontoids, orectoloboids, chimaeroids, some carcharhinoids, and most batoids. Also termed oronasal grooves.
Neck: A narrow band of finely porous dull tissue (possibly orthodentine) encircling the proximal end of the crown of a tooth, and apparently covered with dental membrane.
Neoselachian: Referring to the Neoselachii.
Neoselachii: From Greek neos, new, and selachos, shark. The modern sharks, the subcohort Neoselachii, consisting of the living elasmobranchs and their immediate fossil relatives. See Euselachii.
Neotype: A specimen, not part of the original type series for a species, which is designated by a subsequent author, particularly if the holotype or other types have been destroyed, were never designated in the original description, or are presently useless.
Neural arch: In shark vertebrae, a dorsal arch formed by basidorsal and interdorsal cartilages above the centrum and forming a neural canal containing the spinal cord.
Neural spines: On the neural arches of shark vertebrae, elevated dorsal plate-like surfaces, particularly well-developed in many squalomorph sharks.
Neurocranium: In sharks, a box-shaped complex cartilaginous structure at the anterior end of the vertebral column, containing the brain, housing and supporting the nasal organs, eyes, ears, and other sense organs, and supporting the visceral arches or splanchnocranium. Also termed chondrocranium, chondroneurocranium, or endocranium.
Nictitating lower eyelid: In the ground sharks (order Carcharhiniformes), a movable lower eyelid that has special posterior eyelid muscles that lift it and, in some species, completely close the eye opening (or palpebral aperture). Often incorrectly termed nictitating membrane, a different, nonhomologous structure in terrestrial vertebrates.
Nictitating upper eyelid: In parascylliid orectoloboids, the upper eyelid has anterior eyelid muscles that pull it down and close the eye opening, analogous to the nictitating lower eyelids of carcharhinoids.
Nomenclature: In biology, the application of distinctive names to groups of organisms.
Nostrils: The external openings of the cavities of the nasal organs, or organs of smell.
Notochord: In embryonic sharks (and other chordates) the notochord is a fluid-filled tube below the spinal cord that has a connective-tissue notochordal sheath surrounding it. The notochord forms the primitive developmental base of the chondrichthyan vertebral column. Chimaeroids retain the notochord and its sheath without constriction (although some have ring-like centra in the sheath), but in neoselachians it is constricted by the development of double-cone calcifications of the centra within the sheath into biconical chambers between each centrum. The addition of centra to the notochordal sheath strengthens the vertebral column. Some deepwater squaloid, hexanchoid, and lamnoid sharks have the sheath constriction and calcified double cones variably reduced, sometimes to connective tissue septa only. Some of these taxa with a ‘notochordal’ vertebral column have been considered primitive but are apparently derived from ancestors with well-calcified, constricted vertebral centra.
Occipital centrum: On the occiput of the neurocranium, the posterior half of a calcified double eone of the vertebral column, imbedded in the basal plate and articulating with the anteriormost centrum of the vertebral column. Also termed occipital hemicentrum.
Occiput: The posteriormost sector of the neurocranium, behind and partially between the otic capsules, with its dorsal surface from the parietal fossa rearwards to the foramen magnum, and its posterior surface including the occipital condyles, the occipital centrum, the paired vagus nerve foramina, the paired glossopharyngial nerve foramina, and the rear surface of the hyomandibular facets.
Ocelli or eyespots: Large eye-like pigment spots located on the dorsal surface of the pectoral fins or bodies of some sharks including rays, angel sharks, and some bamboo sharks, possibly serving to frighten potential enemies.
Oophagy: From Greek oön, egg, and phagos, to eat. Egg-eating, a mode of live-bearing reproduction employing uterine cannibalism: early foetuses deplete their yolk-sacks early and subsist by eating nutritive eggs produced by the mother. Known in several lamnoid sharks, the carcharhinoid family Pseudotriakidae, and in the orectoloboid family Ginglymostomatidae (Nebrius ferrugineus).
Optic nerve foramen: A large foramen usually in the middle of the orbital wall, passing the optic nerve from the brain to the eye.
Optic pedicel: On the neurocranium, a slender cartilage that projects from the medial orbital wall and articulates with the eyeball: it serves as a pivot point for the eyeball and a spacer between the eyeball and the orbital wall.
Orbital fissures: The main foramina or fenestrae that pass the trigeminal and facial nerves from the brain to the orbits, located on the posteroventral ends of the medial walls of the orbits.
Orbital notches: On the neurocranium, the paired anterior notches in the suborbital shelves that articulate with the orbital processes of the palatoquadrates. In many squalomorph sharks these are enlarged, deepened, socket-like, and posteriorly situated in the orbits, with telescoping of the suborbital shelves, and are lost in batoids.
Orbits: Large, paired cavities on the sides of the neurocranium, behind the nasal capsules, mostly in front of the otic capsules, and separated medially by the cranial cavity. They are bounded anteriorly by the preorbital walls and processes, dorsally by the supraorbital crests, ventrally by the suborbital shelves (reduced or lost in various squalomorphs), and posteriorly by the postorbital processes and walls. The orbits contain the eyeballs and their muscles, venous sinuses, several arteries that connect to the cranial cavity, and most of the cranial nerves.
Orectoloboid: A carpet shark, a member of the order Orectolobiformes, including barbelthroat carpet sharks, blind sharks, wobbegong sharks, bamboo sharks, epaulette sharks, nurse sharks, zebra sharks, and whale sharks.
Orthodentine: A primary hard tissue comprising the crown of oral teeth in sharks, with numerous fine mostly parallel nonvascular tubules.
Orthodont: An oral tooth with itscrown filled with orthodentine, andwith a prominent central pulp cavity.
Osteodont: An oral tooth with itscrown filled with osteodentine, continuous with the root,and without a pulp cavity.
Otic capsules: On the neurocranium, a pair of complex thick-walled capsules containing the inner ears, and located between the orbits and the occiput, and partially separated medially by the cranial cavity.
Overlapping dentition: Teeth along a mesodistal series in which the roots overlap and are not separated by a space. Two types of overlap patterns occur, alternate overlap, in which teeth in a series alternate from more labial to more lingual, and imbricate overlap, in which the distal end of each tooth lingually or labially overlaps the mesial end of the succeeding tooth, repeating to the distal ends of the dental band. Alternate-imbricate dentitions combine both alternate and imbricate overlap. See independent dentition.
Oviparity: A mode of reproduction in which female sharks deposit eggs enclosed in oblong or conical egg-cases on the bottom, which hatch in less than a month to more than a year, producing young sharks which are miniatures of the adults.
Ovoviviparity: Generally equivalent to yolk-sac viviparity, live-bearing in which the young are nourished primarily by the yolk in the yolk-sac, which is gradually depleted and the yolk-sac reabsorbed until the young are ready to be born. Sometimes used to cover all forms of aplacental viviparity, including cannibal viviparity.
Palatoquadrates: The paired upper jaw cartilages, articulating mesially with each other at the midline or symphysis of the upperjaw, and articulating laterally with the distal ends of the Meckel’s cartilages. The palatoquadrates are fused to the neurocranium in all living holocephalans. The palatoquadrates of neoselachians are divided into cylindrical anteromedial sectors or palatine processes, which articulate or are otherwise attached to each other at the symphysis: variably modified conical to flattened articular structures or orbital processes on the middle of the palatoquadrates for attachment to the neurocranium at the orbital notches: and often elevated posterodistal quadrate processes that articulate with the distal ends of the Meckel’s cartilages and are loosely or firmly attached to the distal ends of the hyomandibulae. In a few living neoselachians, and many fossil elasmobranchs, the quadrate processes have postorbital articulations with the rear surfaces of the postorbital processes of the neurocranium.
Palpebral aperture: The eye opening, defined by the upper and lower eyelids.
Papillae: Elongated finger-like processes of skin, located around the spiracles of torpedo rays, and in the mouths and on the gili arches of other sharks.
Papillose gili rakers: See gili raker papillae.
Paralectotype: One of two or more specimens that were syntypes in an original description, but which became a paralectotype or paralectotypes when a subsequent author designated one of the syntypes as a lectotype. Paralectotypes are equivalent to paratypes.
Paratype: Each specimen of a type series other than the holotype. Specimens other than the holotype automatically become paratypes unless the author designates them as referred specimens that are not part of the type series.
Parietal fossa: On the neurocranium, a shallow or deep depression between the otic capsules and at the rear of the cranial roof, that houses foramina for paired ducts leading to the inner ears and for the spaces around them.
Pectoral fins: Asymmetrical pair of fins on each side of the trunk just behind the head and in front of the abdomen. These are present in all cartilaginous fishes and correspond to the forelimbs of a land vertebrate (a tetrapod or four-footed vertebrate).
Pectoral or shoulder girdle: See scapulocoracoid. Pedicel: In lateral trunk denticles, a narrow stalk separating the crown from the base.
Pelvic fin: Asymmetrical pair of fins on the sides of the body between the abdomen and precaudal tail which correspond to the hindlimbs of land vertebrate (a tetrapod or four-footed vertebrate). Also, ventral fins.
Pelvic girdle: See puboischiadic bar.
Photophores: Conspicuously pigmented small spots on the bodies of most lantern sharks (family Etmopteridae) and some kitefin sharks (family Dalatiidae). These are tiny round organs that are covered with a conspicuous dark pigment (melanin) and produce light by a low-temperature chemical reaction.
Placenta: See yolk-sac placenta.
Placental viviparity: Live-bearing in which the young develop a yolk-sac placenta, which is apparently confined to the carcharhinoid sharks.
Placoid scale: See dermal denticle.
Plesodic fin: A pectoral, pelvic, dorsal, or anal fin in which the radial cartilages of the fin skeleton extend far into the distal fin web, often near its edges, and between the supporting ceratotrichia of the fin web. Some fossil sharks also have plesodic caudal fins, in which the expanded haemal arches of the caudal vertebrae extend far into the fin web. In more advanced batoids the radiais of the plesodic paired fins become highly branched and segmented, very narrow and slender, and essentially replace the ceratotrichia as supports for the fin webs.
Pores, pigmented: In a few sharks and skates, the pores for the lateral line and ampullae of Lorenzini are conspicuously black-pigmented, and look like little black specks.
Posterior nasal flaps: Low flaps or ridges arising on the posterior edges of the excurrent apertures of the nostrils.
Posterior notch: In the caudal fin, the notch in the postventral margin dividing it into upper and lower parts.
Posterior tip: The posteriormost corner or end of the
terminal lobe of the caudal fin.
Postocular eyelid muscles: A complex of paired head muscles unique to carcharhinoid sharks that originate around the spiracles and insert on the posterior ends of the upper eyelids and nictitating lower eyelids. Primitively they depress the upper eyelid and elevate the nictitating lower eyelid to close the eye, but in more derived carcharhinoids the eye is closed only by elevation of the nictitating lower eyelid.
Postorbital processes: On the neurocranium, posterolateral projections of the supraorbital crests, below which the postorbital walls originate.
Postorbital walls: On the neurocranium, the posterior boundaries of the orbits, variously reduced vertical plates of cartilage that close the orbits between the postorbital processes and the suborbital shelves, more or less reduced in living neoselachians.
Preanal ridges: A pair of low, short to long, narrow ridges on the midline of the caudal peduncle extending anteriorly from the anal fin base.
Precaudal pit: A depression at the upper and sometimes lower origin of the caudal fin where it joins the caudal peduncle.
Precaudal vertebrae: Vertebrae from the occiput to the dorsal origin of the caudal fin.
Preorbital canals: On the neurocranium, anterior passages for the superficial opthalmic nerves out of the orbits and onto the nasal capsules and rostrum, situated at the anteromesial edges of the supraorbital crests at the rear bases of the preorbital processes; sometimes greatly expanded posteriorly.
Preorbital processes: On the neurocranium, anterolateral projections of the supraorbital crests, below which the preorbital walls originate.
Preorbital walls: On the neurocranium, the anterior boundaries of the orbits, curved vertical plates of cartilage that vary from complete to absent in neoselachians.
Preorbitalis muscles: Paired head muscles that primitively originate on the rear of the nasal capsules or on the preorbital walls, run diagonally rearwards, and insert on the adductor mandibulae at the mouth angles. Orectoloboids and heterodontoids have the preorbitalis vertical, with cross-biased fibres in the latter, and the insertions are along the ventral edge of Meckel’s cartilage. In derived orectoloboids the origins of the preorbitalis are expanded onto the cranial roof and the muscles greatly expanded.
Primitively the preorbitalis may primarily serve to protrude thejaws, but they may primarily serve to increase the power of the bite in orectoloboids and heterodontoids. Also termed levator labii superioris muscles.
Pristiophoroid: A saw shark, order Pristiophoriformes, family Pristiophoridae.
Propterygium: In the pectoral fin skeleton of living neoselachians, the anteriormost basal cartilage, adjacent to the anterior edge of the mesopterygium and with one or more radiais attached to its distal end. In batoids with expanded anterior pectoral fin lobes it becomes expanded and segmented into a propterygia! basal and propterygia! axis, similar to the metapterygial basal and axis.
Proximal: In any direction, at the near end of a structure.
Pseudopera: On the external clasper glans, a dorsally opening blind pocket along the lateral edge of the clasper, and about opposite the anterior edge of the glans.
Pseudosiphon: On the external clasper glans, a dorsally opening blind pocket along the medial edge of the clasper, and about opposite the cover rhipidion.
Pterotic horn or process: On the neurocranium, elongated posterior projections of the sphenopterotic ridges of the otic capsules.
Puboischiadic bar: A transverse flattened or cylindrical plate in the posterior body wall opposite the anterior ends of the pelvic fins, in front of the vent and at the posterior end of the body cavity, that supports a few anterior pelvic radiais and a basal cartilage, the basipterygium. The pelvic girdle.
Radial cartilages or radiais: The small, segmented, more distal cartilages of the precaudal fins, attached proximally to the distal edges of the basal cartilages. In the pectoral fin skeleton of living neoselachians, the radiais mostly have three segments but range from no segments to 30 or more. The radial segments adjacent to the pectoral basais are the proximal radiais, the radial segments furthest from the basais are the distal radiais, and any segments between them are intermediate radiais.
Radii: In a vertebral centrum in cross-section, branching plates of calcified cartilage in the intermedialia. These have a radial orientation from the centre of the centrum.
Ray: See batoid.
Replacement series: Aseries of oral teeth that are lingual to the functional series, and not in a functional position on thejaw.
Rhipidion: In nonbatoid sharks, a longitudinal, elongated flap attached to the floor of the glans along its base and with its free edge directed laterally. In skates (Rajoidei) rhipidion is used for a soft mass of erectile tissue in the glans, not necessarily homologous to the rhipidion of nonbatoid sharks.
Rhomboidal: In the form of a rhombus or diamond.
Ribs: On the shark vertebral column, short to elongated paired and typically pointed cartilages attached to the basiventral cartilages and extending into the horizontal septum of the segmented trunk musculature or myomeres. Chondrichthyan ribs are therefore dorsal ribs rather than ventral ribs as in bony fishes (which support the body cavity).
Ring valve: A type of spiral intestinal valve in which the valve turns are very numerous and short and resemble a stack of washers.
Root lobe: Sharks often have the roots of their oral teeth divided into separate lobes at their midlengths, which are termed mesial and distal root lobes.
Rostral keel: In the neurocranium of squaloids, a large vertical plate on the underside of the rostrum and internasal septum, sometimes reduced, and with the cavities of the subnasal fenestrae on either side of the keel.
Rostral node: On the neurocranium, the anterior end of the rostrum of cartilaginous fishes, and the plate formed by the fused anterior ends of the tripodal rostra in many galeomorph sharks.
Rostromandibular muscle: In the orectoloboid family Parascylliidae, paired head muscles that originate on the sides of the adductor mandibulae muscles and insert via long tendons on the medial rostral cartilage. These are possibly for depressing the snout. Not found in any other sharks, though analogous muscles exist in batoids.
Rostronuchal muscles: In the orectoloboid family Parascylliidae, paired head muscles that originate on the dorsal myomeres of the nape, and insert via long tendons on the medial rostral cartilage. These are possibly for elevating the snout. Not found in any other sharks, though analogous muscles exist in batoids.
Rostrum: On the neurocranium, the cartilaginous anteriormost structure which supports the prenasal snout including lateral line canals and masses of ampullae, and is located in front of the nasal capsules and anterior fontanelle. The rostrum is very variable, and in squalomorph sharks is primitively trough or basin-shaped, while it may be primitively rod-shaped or tripodal in galeomorph sharks. It is absent in a few nonbatoid sharks and in many batoids. See rostrum, tripodal.
Rostrum, tripodal: The rostrum of the neurocranium in lamnoid and carcharhinoids is primitively tripodal, with a pair of dorsolateral lateral rostral cartilages that arise from the posterolaterodorsal surfaces of the nasal capsules or from the preorbital wall, and a medial rostral cartilage that arises from the anteromedial surface of the internasal septum. The medial and lateral rostral cartilages extend anteriorly and articulate or fuse at the rostral node. Living orectoloboids have only the medial rostral cartilage although a tripodal rostrum may be present in some fossil orectoloboids, while heterodontoid sharks lack a rostrum as adults but apparently lose it as embryos.
Row: In oral teeth, a single replicating line of teeth, approximately transverse to the longitudinaljaw axis, which includes functional teeth and their replacements, derived from one tooth-producing area on the jaw.
Saw or saw-snout: The elongated snout in sawfish and sawsharks, with side and (in sawsharks) ventral teeth formed from enlarged denticles, used to kill, ensnare or dig for prey. Also termed rostral saw.
Scapulocoracoid: The primitively U-shaped cartilage in the body wall just behind the gills and at the anterior end of the pectoral bases, that supports the pectoral fins and articulates with the pectoral basais. The scapulocoracoid consists of a ventral coracoid bar connecting its paired lateral faces with articular condyles or ridges for the pectoral basais, and a pair of dorsal scapular processes dorsal to the lateral faces. The scapular processes sometimes have separate suprascapulae above them, but they are sometimes fused with the scapular processes. The coracoid bar has a medial joint or even a separate medial cartilage (sternal cartilage) in a few living sharks, as with many fossil cartilaginous fishes. The pectoral or shoulder girdle.
Scroll valve: A type of spiral intestinal valve in requiem and hammerhead sharks in which the valve has uncoiled and resembles a rolled-up bib or scroll.
Secondary lower eyelid: The eyelid below or lateral to the nictitating lower eyelid, separated from it by a subocular groove or pocket, and, in many carcharhinoids with internal nictitating lower eyelids, functionally replacing them as lower eyelids. Some orectoloboids have shallow subocular grooves separating their non-nictitating lower eyelids from weakly developed secondary lower eyelids. They may, however, be able to close their eye openings by retracting the eyeballs.
Semiplesodic fin: In some sharks, a pectoral or dorsal fin with the fin radial cartilages extending partway into the fin web but not to its distal edges, essentially intermediate between plesodic and aplesodic fins.
Shark: Generally used for cylindrical or flattened cartilaginous fishes with 5 to 7 external gili openings on the sides of their heads, pectoral fins that are not attached to the head above the gili openings, and a large, stout tail with a large caudal fin; that is, all living elasmobranchs except the rays or batoids. Living sharks in this sense are all members of the Neoselachii, the modern sharks and rays. Shark is also used loosely for fossil chondrichthyans that are not neoselachians but have a shark-like form, and even for ‘spiny sharks’ (acanthodians) and for certain teleosts. Rays are essentially flattened sharks with the pectoral fins attached to their heads and are cladistically nested within the squalomorph sharks, while living chimaeras are the immediate sister group of living neoselachians and are called ghost sharks or silver sharks. Hence shark is used here in an alternate and broader sense to include the rays and chimaeras.
Shoulder: In oral teeth, an arcuate or straight, convex-edged section of the crown foot, without cusplets and similar to a blade but without a cutting edge.
Single oviparity: A mode of egg-laying or oviparity in which female sharks produce encased eggs in pairs, which are not retained in the oviducts and are deposited on the bottom. Embryos in the egg-cases are at an early developmental stage, and take a few months to over a year to hatch. Found in almost all oviparous cartilaginous fishes.
Siphons: A pair of dermal sacs in the ventral abdominal wall of male sharks, connecting posteriorly with the apopyles of the claspers, and extending anteriorly a variable distance from about opposite the pelvic origins to opposite the pectoral bases.
Skull or cranium: The skull or head skeleton of sharks includes the neurocranium and the splanchnocranium or visceral arches. The visceral arches articulate with and are associated with the neurocranium, but, except for the upper jaws of many holocephalans, are not fused to it. Also termed syncranium.
Snout: That part of a cartilaginous fish in front of its eyes and mouth, and including the nostrils.
Sphenopterotic ridge: On the neurocranium, a horizontal ridge along the dorsolateral edge of each otic capsule that either ends at the occiput or terminates in an expanded pterotic process.
Spiracle: A small to large opening between the eye and first gili opening of most sharks and rays, representing the modified gili opening between the jaws and hyoid (tongue) arch. This is secondarily lost in chimaeras and some sharks.
Spiral or conicospiral valve: An intestinal valve shaped like a corkscrew or augur, with the valve angled anteriorly and medially in the intestine.
Splanchnocranium: That part of the shark skull including the visceral arches. These include the jaws or mandibular arch, the tongue or hyoid arch, and the five to seven gili or branchial arches. Also, viscerocranium.
Squalene: A long-chain oily hydrocarbon present in the liver oil of deepwater cartilaginous fishes. It is highly valued for industrial and medicinal use.
Squaloid: A dogfish shark, a member of the order Squaliformes, including bramble sharks, spiny dogfish, guiper sharks, lantern sharks, viper sharks, rough sharks, sleeper sharks, kitefin sharks, and cookiecutter sharks.
Squalomorph: Referring to the Squalomorphii.
Squalomorphi!: The neoselachian superorder Squalomorphii, including the hexanchoid, squaloid, squatinoid, pristiophoroid, and batoid sharks.
Squatinoid: An angel shark, order Squatiniformes, family Squatinidae.
Squatinoid caudal fin: Angel sharks (Squatiniformes) are unique among living sharks in having hypocercal caudal fins that resemble inverted caudal fins of ordinary sharks. The dorsal margin is subdivided into a predorsal margin from the upper origin to its dorsal tip (analogous to the preventral margin and ventral tips in ordinary sharks), a postdorsal margin (like the postventral margin) from the dorsal tip to its supraterminal notch (similar to the subterminal notch), and a short supraterminal margin and large ventral terminal margin (similar to the subterminal and terminal margins) between the supraterminal notch and the ventral tip of the caudal. The ventral margin has a preventral margin forming a ventral lobe with the ventral tip and the ventral terminal margin.
Stapedial foramen or fenestra: On the neurocranium, a foramen through the posteroventromedial surface of each suborbital shelf into the orbit, for the stapedial or orbital arteries. It may be greatly expanded into a stapedial fenestra in sharks with greatly coiled stapedial arteries or lost in sharks with the suborbital shelves greatly reduced or absent.
Stapediocarotid foramen: On the neurocranium of certain sharks, fusion of the stapedial and carotid foramina on either side produces a single pair of stapediocarotid foramina.
Subcaudal keel: In a few dogfish sharks (family Centrophoridae), a single longitudinal dermal keel on the underside of the caudal peduncle.
Subethmoid fossa: On the neurocranium, a deep cavity on the ventral surfaces of the nasal capsules and the internasal plate, into which fit the palatine processes of the upperjaws.
Subnasal fenestrae: On the neurocranium of squaloids, a pair of apertures in the internasal plate between the nasal capsules that connect the cerebral cavity with two ventral fluid-filled cavities between the nasal capsules and the rostral keel. The fenestrae themselves are covered by tough membranes as with the anterior fontanelle. Subnasal fenestrae are present in most squaloids but reduced in a few derived species, and are not found in other sharks. Their function is obscure but may be sensory. Also termed basal communicating canals.
Suborbital shelf: On the neurocranium, a horizontal plate arising on the ventral junction of the orbital wall and basal plate on each side which extends from the nasal capsule to the otic capsule: it forms the floor of the orbit. A well-developed suborbital shelf is apparently primitive for shark-like fishes but is variably telescoped, reduced or lost in many squalomorph sharks and a few galeomorphs.
Subterminal margin: In the caudal fin, the margin from the subterminal notch to the ventral beginning of the terminal margin.
Subterminal mouth or ventral mouth: Mouth located on the underside of the head, behind the snout. Also termed an inferior mouth, in reference to its ventral position but not its function. A superior mouth (not found in living cartilaginous fishes) is on the dorsal surface of the head.
Subterminal notch: On the caudal fin of most nonbatoid sharks and at least one batoid, the notch in the lower distal end of the caudal fin, between the postventral and subterminal margins, and defining the anterior end of the terminal lobe.
Superficial ophthalmic nerve foramina: Foramina for the roots of the superficial ophthalmic nerves in the medial wall of the orbits, separate from the orbital fissure. These foramina are confluent with the orbital fissure in many sharks.
Supraorbital crest: On the neurocranium, an arched horizontal plate of cartilage forming the dorsal edge of the orbit on each side; it arises from the medial orbital wall and the cranial roof and extends horizontally from the preorbital process to the postorbital process. It is apparently primitive for shark-like fishes but is variably reduced or absent in some living elasmobranchs.
Supraorbital or brow ridge: A dermal ridge above each eye, particularly well-developed in heterodontoids and some orectoloboids.
Symphyseal or symphysial groove: A longitudinal groove on the ventral surface of the lowerjaw of some orectoloboid sharks, extending posteriorly from the lower symphysis.
Symphysial teeth: Larger oral teeth in one row on either side of the symphysis, distal to mediáis or alternates where present. Symphysials are broader than mediáis and usually have asymmetrical roots.
Symphysis: The midline of the upper and lowerjaws, where the paired jaw cartilages articulate with each other.
Syntype: Two or more specimens used and mentioned in an original description of a species, where there was no designation of a holotype or a holotype and paratype(s) by the describer of the species.
Systematics: Scientific study of the kinds and diversity of organisms, including relationships between them.
Tail: That part of a cartilaginous fish from the cloacal opening or vent (anus in chimaeroids, which lack a cloaca) to the tip of the caudal fin or caudal filament, and including the anal fin, usually the second dorsal fin when present, and caudal fin.
Taxon, plural taxa: A taxonomic group at any level in a classification. Thus the taxon Chondrichthyes is a class with two taxa as subclasses, Elasmobranchii and Flolocephali, and the taxon Galeorhinus, a genus, has one taxon as a species, G. galeus.
Term foetus: See foetus.
Terminal 3 cartilage: A wedge-shaped or elongated cartilage articulating with the posterior edge of the ventral marginal cartilage and over the ventral terminal cartilages. It supports a variety of structures, including clasper spines and spurs, the shields of many skates (Rajoidei), and the mesorhipidion of some carcharhinoid sharks.
Terminal lobe: In the caudal fin of most nonbatoid sharks and at least one batoid, the free rear wedge-shaped lobe at the tip of the caudal fin, extending from the subterminal notch to the posterior tip.
Terminal margin: In the caudal fin, the margin from the
ventral end of the subterminal margin to the posterior tip.
Terminal mouth: Mouth located at the very front of the animal. Most cartilaginous fishes have subterminal mouths, but some species (viper sharks, wobbegongs, angel sharks, frilled sharks, whale sharks, megamouth sharks, and Manta) have it terminal or nearly so.
Thorn: In many batoids, most angel sharks and the bramble shark (Echinorhinus brucus), enlarged, flat conical denticles with a sharp, erect crown and a flattened base (which may grow as the shark grows).
Tongue arch: See hyoid arch.
Transverse groove: In oral teeth, a deep groove transverse on the lingual root surface, transecting it into mesial and distal root lobes.
Transverse notch: In oral teeth, a distinct notch in the proximal labial edge of the root at about its midlength.
Transverse ridges: Small narrow ridges on the labial and lingual surfaces of the crown, apicobasally oriented and sometimes extending to the cusp edges.
Trilobate lower lip: In advanced orectoloboids, shallow orolabial grooves divide the lower lips into a medial section and a pair of lateral sections.
Tropeic folds: Longitudinal paired ridges on the ventral midline of the abdomen in frilled sharks (Chlamydoselachidae).
Truncate: Blunt, abbreviated.
Umbilical cord: A modified yolk stalk in placental viviparous sharks, carrying nutrients from the placenta to the foetus.
Upper eyelid: The dorsal half of the eyelid, separated by a deep pocket (conjunctival fornix) from the eyeball. The upper eyelid fuses with the eyeball and the pocket is lost in all batoids.
Upper postventral margin: In the caudal fin, the upper part of the postventral margin of the hypaxial web, from the posterior notch to the subterminal notch.
Uterine cannibalism or cannibal viviparity: A mode of reproduction in which foetuses deplete theiryolk-sacks early and subsist by eating nutritive eggs produced by the mother (see oophagy) or first eat smaller siblings and then nutritive eggs (see adelphophagy).
Vent: The opening of the cloaca on the ventral surface of the body between the inner margins and at the level of the pelvic fin insertions.
Ventral: Downward, in the vertical direction of the abdomen. See dorsal.
Ventral margin: In the caudal fin, the entire ventral margin from lower origin to posterior tip, either a continuous margin or variably subdivided into preventral, postventral, subterminal and terminal margins.
Ventral marginal: In the clasper skeleton, a flat semicylindrica! cartilage that is partially fused to the lateral edge of the axial cartilage, and forms the lateral wall of the clasper groove.
Ventral terminal: On the skeleton of the clasper glans, an often triangular, elongated, curved, plate-like cartilage that articulates or is attached to the lateral or ventrolateral edge of the end-style and to the posterior end of the ventral marginal cartilage.
Vertebra, plural vertebrae: A single unit of the vertebral column, including a vertebral centrum and associated cartilages that form neural arches and ribs or haemal arches.
Vertebral axis: That part of the vertebral column inside the base of the caudal fin.
Vertebral column: The entire set or string of vertebrae or ‘backbone’ of a shark, from the rear of the chondrocranium to the end of the caudal base. Living elasmobranchs range from having as few as 60 vertebrae (some squaloids of the family Dalatiidae) to as many as 477 vertebrae (thresher sharks).
Visceral arches: See splanchnocranium.
Viviparity: Used in two ways in recent literature, as being equivalent to placental viviparity only, that is for carcharhinoid sharks with a yolk-sac placenta; or for all forms of live-bearing or aplacental viviparity.
Yolk sac or yolk sack: Almost all sharks start embryonic development somewhat like a chicken, as a large spherical yolky egg inside an elongated shell, the egg case. A small disk of dividing cells represents the pre-embryo or blástula atop the huge yolk mass. The blástula expands around the sides and ventral surface of the yolk mass, and differentiates into an increasingly shark-like embryo, the yolk sac or bag-like structure containing the yolk, and a narrow tubular yolk stalk, between the abdomen of the embryo and the yolk sac.
Yolk stalk: The connecting passage between embryo or foetus and yolk sac, which allows yolk to pass from the sac into the embryonic gut.
Yolk-sac placenta: An organ in the uterus of some ground sharks (order Carcharhiniformes), formed from the embryonic yolk-sac of the embryo and maternal uterine lining, through which maternal nutriment is passed to the embryo. It is analogous to the placenta of live-bearing mammals. There are several forms of yolk-sac placentas in carcharhinoid sharks, including entire, discoidal, globular, and columnar placentas (see Compagno, 1988).
Yolk-sac viviparity: Live-bearing in which the young are nourished primarily by the yolk in the yolk sacs, which is gradually depleted and the yolk sacs reabsorbed until the young are ready to be born.