Lamnidae is a family of shark
Sharks are a type of fish with a full cartilaginous skeleton and a highly streamlined body. The earliest known sharks date from more than 420 million years ago....

s, commonly known as mackerel sharks or white sharks. They are large, fast-swimming sharks, found in oceans worldwide.

These sharks have pointed snouts, spindle-shaped bodies, and gigantic gill
A gill is a respiratory organ found in many aquatic organisms that extracts dissolved oxygen from water, afterward excreting carbon dioxide. The gills of some species such as hermit crabs have adapted to allow respiration on land provided they are kept moist...

 openings. The first dorsal fin
Dorsal fin
A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of various unrelated marine and freshwater vertebrates, including most fishes, marine mammals , and the ichthyosaurs...

 is large, high, stiff and angular or somewhat rounded. The second dorsal and anal fins are minute. The caudal peduncle has a couple or less distinct keels. The teeth are gigantic. The fifth gill opening is in front of the pectoral fin and spiracles are sometimes absent. They are heavily-built sharks, sometimes weighing nearly twice as much as sharks of comparable length from other families. Many in the family are among the fastest-swimming fish, although the massive Carcharodon are slower due to their great size.

Genera and species

The family contains five living species in three genera:
  • Genus Carcharodon Smith
    Andrew Smith (zoologist)
    Sir Andrew Smith KCB was a Scottish surgeon, explorer, ethnologist and zoologist. He is considered the father of Zoology in South Africa having described many species across a wide range of groups in his major work, Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa.Smith was born in Hawick, Roxburghshire...

    , 1838
    • Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758) (Great white shark)
    • Carcharodon megalodon (Agassiz
      Louis Agassiz
      Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz was a Swiss paleontologist, glaciologist, geologist and a prominent innovator in the study of the Earth's natural history. He grew up in Switzerland and became a professor of natural history at University of Neuchâtel...

      , 1843)
  • Genus Isurus
    Isurus is a genus of mackerel sharks in the family Lamnidae, commonly known as the mako sharks. There are two living species, the common shortfin mako shark and the rare longfin mako shark , and several extinct species known from fossils. They range in length from 9 to 15 feet, and have an...

    Rafinesque, 1810
    • Isurus oxyrinchus Rafinesque, 1810 (Shortfin mako)
    • Isurus paucus Guitart-Manday, 1966 (Longfin mako)
    • Isurus retroflexus
    • Isurus desori
    • Isurus escheri
    • Isurus planus
    • Isurus hastalis (Broad-toothed mako) †
  • Genus Lamna
    Lamna is a genus of mackerel sharks in the family Lamnidae, containing two extant species: the porbeagle of the North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere, and the salmon shark Lamna is a genus of mackerel sharks in the family Lamnidae, containing two extant species: the porbeagle (L. nasus) of the...

    Georges Cuvier
    Georges Chrétien Léopold Dagobert Cuvier or Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier , known as Georges Cuvier, was a French naturalist and zoologist...

    , 1816
    • Lamna ditropis Hubbs
      Carl Leavitt Hubbs
      -Youth:He was born in Williams, Arizona. He was the son of Charles Leavitt and Elizabeth Hubbs. His father had a wide variety of jobs . The family moved several times before settling in San Diego where he got his first taste of natural history...

       & Follett, 1947
      (Salmon shark)
    • Lamna nasus (Bonnaterre
      Pierre Joseph Bonnaterre
      Abbé Pierre Joseph Bonnaterre was a French naturalist who contributed sections on cetaceans, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects to the Tableau encyclopédique et méthodique...

      , 1788)
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