Are Sharks Dinosaurs? Are They Related?

  • By: Alex
  • Date: July 29, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Sharks have been around for a long time. In fact, they’ve been around so long that some people believe they might be related to dinosaurs. After all, sharks and dinosaurs lived at the same time, and both groups have unique characteristics.

Sharks have been around for a long time. In fact, they’ve been around so long that some people believe they might be related to dinosaurs. After all, sharks and dinosaurs lived at the same time, and both groups have unique characteristics.

Are Sharks Dinosaurs? Sharks are not dinosaurs, and despite their age, They are not part of the dinosaur family tree.

So what exactly are they? 

Sharks are actually a type of fish; more specifically, they are cartilaginous fish. This means that their skeleton comprises cartilage, a flexible kind of tissue. This contrasts with the bones of dinosaurs, made of hard mineralized tissue.

How do scientists know that dinosaurs are related to sharks?

Megalodon Shark Jaw replica
Megalodon Shark Jaw replica

Scientists know dinosaurs are related to sharks because they have found fossils of megalodon teeth that look much like shark teeth.

Megalodon was a giant prehistoric shark that lived in the ocean during the time of the dinosaurs. The only difference is that megalodon teeth are much bigger than shark teeth.

Scientists believe megalodon is related to sharks because they have similar features, such as serrated teeth, large fins, and a torpedo-shaped body.

Reconstruction of teeth Megalodon
Reconstruction of teeth Megalodon

Another reason why scientists believe that dinosaurs are related to sharks because they both have a backbone made of vertebrae.

Fossil evidence shows that some dinosaurs had bones that looked like shark vertebrae. For example, the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Spinosaurus both had very similar bones to those of a shark.

What do sharks and dinosaurs have in common

These two groups of animals actually share several similarities. Both dinosaurs and sharks first appeared during the Mesozoic era and have remarkably succeeded in evolutionary longevity.

In fact, sharks have been around for more than 400 million years, making them one of the Earth’s longest-lived creatures. And although dinosaurs are no longer with us, they ruled the planet for more than 230 million years.

What do sharks and dinosaurs have in common

But perhaps the most intriguing similarity between these two groups is their remarkable adaptability. Sharks have mastered the art of survival, continuing to thrive in even the most hostile environments.

Similarly, dinosaurs were once thought to be slow-moving and sluggish creatures, but recent discoveries have revealed that some species were actually quite agile.

These shared characteristics suggest that dinosaurs and sharks are more alike than we might think.

What is the closest animal to a dinosaur?

While many people might think of the closest animal to a dinosaur as something like a crocodile or alligator, the truth is that the most intimate living relative to a dinosaur are actually birds. 

This is because birds are descendants of theropod dinosaurs, a group of bipedal carnivores that includes such well-known species as Tyrannosaurus Rex and Velociraptor.

Today, there are around 10,000 species of birds, making them the most diverse group of land vertebrates on the planet.

While they come in all shapes and sizes, they share certain features with their dinosaur ancestors, including feathers, hollow bones, and three-toed feet.

Are sharks or dinosaurs older?

In terms of age, sharks are definitely older than dinosaurs. Sharks have existed for over 450 million years, while the first dinosaurs appeared on Earth around 230 million years ago. So in terms of pure age, sharks are definitely the clear winner!

However, in terms of evolutionary history, it’s a little more complicated. Dinosaurs evolved from reptiles, while sharks evolved from fish. So dinosaurs are technically younger than sharks but have a more extended evolutionary history.

So which is older? In terms of age, it’s definitely sharks. In terms of evolutionary history, it’s a little more complicated, but ultimately it’s still Sharks!

Are frilled sharks dinosaurs

There is undoubtedly a case to be made that the Frilled Shark is a living dinosaur. After all, it has remained unchanged for some 80 million years, making it one of the oldest known surviving fish species.

It’s also sometimes been called a “living fossil.” In many ways, the frilled shark looks strikingly similar to early depictions of dinosaurs like the Loch Ness Monster.

Several pieces of evidence suggest the frilled shark is indeed a living dinosaur. For one, its body shape is incredibly primitive, with a long snake-like body and six pairs of gill slits running down the sides.

This is very similar to how dinosaurs were thought to look based on fossil evidence from when they lived.

Another piece of evidence is the frilled shark’s unique feeding habits. It uses its long, flexible body to coil around its prey and then swallows it whole. This is similar to how some dinosaurs were thought to have hunted their prey.

So, while there is no definitive proof that the frilled shark is a living dinosaur, it is certainly a solid case.

How rare are frilled sharks?

Frilled sharks are one of the rarest and most ancient types of shark worldwide. Only a handful of frilled sharks are known to science and are rarely seen by humans.

In fact, before 2004, there was only one recorded sighting of a frilled shark in modern times. 

This rarity is likely due to several factors. Frilled sharks live in deep water (they’ve been found as deep as 5,000 meters), making it difficult for scientists to study.

They also have a slow reproductive rate; females give birth to just six pups every two years. 

Frilled sharks are members of the Chlamydoselachidae family, which contains just two known species:

  • the frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus)
  • and the southern African Antarctic frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus Michelleae).

Both species are considered obscure, and little is known about them.