Protospinax is an extinct genus of cartilaginous fish found in the Solnhofen limestones of southern Bavaria. It is a difficult taxon to accommodate in taxonomies. Formerly known from only two specimens, further museum specimens were discovered at the Museum of Comparative Zoology of Harvard University in the 1990s, having been misidentified as Squatina and Heterodontus.

Protospinax was about 1.7 m in length.[1]

Temporal range: Late Jurassic
Protospinax annectens, Paläontologisches Museum München
Protospinax annectens
Scientific classification

Woodward, 1919


  1. ^
  • Marcelo R. de Carvalho & John G. Maisey (1996). "Phylogenetic relationships of the Late Jurassic shark Protospinax Woodward 1919 (Chondrichthyes: Elasmobranchii)" (PDF). In G. Arratia & G. Viohl (ed.). Mesozoic Fishes – Systematics and Paleoecology (PDF excerpt)|format= requires |url= (help). München, Germany: Friedrich Pfeil. pp. 9–46. ISBN 3-923871-90-2.
List of prehistoric cartilaginous fish genera

This list of prehistoric cartilaginous fish genera is an attempt to create a comprehensive listing of all genera that have ever been included in the class chondrichthyes and are known from the fossil record. This list excludes purely vernacular terms, genera that are now considered invalid, doubtful (nomina dubia), or were not formally published (nomina nuda), as well as junior synonyms of more established names, and genera that are no longer considered to be cartilaginous fish. It includes all commonly accepted genera.

This list currently contains 804 generic names.

Extinct genera are marked by a dagger (†).

Extant taxon genera are bolded.

Wessex Formation

The Wessex Formation is a fossil-rich English geological formation that dates from the Berriasian to Barremian stages (about 145–125 million years ago) of the Early Cretaceous. It forms part of the Wealden Group and underlies the younger Vectis Formation and overlies the Durlston Formation. The dominant lithology of this unit is mudstone with some interbedded sandstones.


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