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The Elasmobranchii form a group within the Chondrichthyes or cartilaginous fish, and include the sharks, rays and skates. Fossil representatives are known from the Silurian period onwards. Because the skeleton of these animals mainly consists of cartilage, it fossilisation is difficult. Nevertheless complete fossil cartilaginous fish of this group known from numerous Lägerstatten, including those of Solnhofen, Germany and Lebanon. Teeth and jaw plates remain very well preserved and are easily found locally.
In our Identification System, this group is divided into the Batoidea, which include the rays and skates, and the other Elasmobranchii (mainly sharks).
Loose teeth are common
Well preserved complete specimens, like this one from Libanon, are very exceptional
Photos or locations of Batoidea at this site
Photos or locations of Other Elasmobranchii at this site
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