For Carcharodon carcharias, see Great white shark.
Carcharias taurus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Superorder: Selachimorpha
Order: Lamniformes
Family: Odontaspididae
Genus: Carcharias
Rafinesque, 1810

See text for species.

Carcharias is a genus of Sand Tiger Sharks belonging to the family Odontaspididae.


Carcharias are 250 centimeters long on average. The maximum weight of the shark is 158.8 kg.[1]

Differentiating different species of sharks is usually done by locating and measuring their fins. The second dorsal fin and the anal fin of Carcharias are very large. In fact, they are about equal in size. The pectoral fins are triangular and only slightly larger than the dorsal fins. The teeth are very long and narrow with sharp points. The teeth are smooth with no ridges. The tail is one third of the entire body size.[2]


Carcharias species hunt bony fish, small sharks, rays, squids, crabs, and lobsters.[3]


Sand Tiger Sharks live in water depths ranging from 0 to 190 meters. They are found in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. They are commonly found in surf zones.[3]

Extant Species

Extinct Species

Extinct species within this genus lived from the Cretaceous period to the Quaternary period (from 99.7 to 0.012 Ma). Fossils have been found all over the world, especially in the Miocene and Oligocene sediments of Europe, United States and Australia, in the Eocene of Egypt, Europe and United States, as well as in the Cretaceous of Australia, Canada, United States, Europe and Africa.[12] Extinct species include: [12]

Fossil teeth of Carcharias holmdelensis from Israel, Upper Cretaceous
Fossil teeth of Carcharias samhammeri from Israel, Upper Cretaceous
Fossil teeth of Carcharias tingitana from Morocco, Paleogene

Cretaceous species[13]

Paleogene species[13]



  1. "Carcharias taurus".
  2. Garman. "sand Shark".
  3. 1 2 "Sand Tiger Sharks, Carcharias taurus".
  4. C. acutidens on WoRMS)
  5. C. borneensis on WoRMS
  6. C. brachyrhynchos on WoRMS
  7. C. brevipinna on WoRMS
  8. C. falciformis on WoRMS
  9. C. fronto on WoRMS
  10. C. hemiodon on WoRMS
  11. C. sealei on WoRMS
  12. 1 2 Fossilworks
  13. 1 2 3 Carcharias RAFINESQUE 1810 Sand tiger - Lower Cretaceous - Recent Accessed 2008/07/07
  14. "Sylvestrilamia CAPPETTA & NOLF 2005 Extinct sand tiger shark — Palaeocene - Eocene Accessed 2008/07/07".
  15. Shark teeth references Accessed 2008/07/07 Archived May 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.

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