cartilaginous fish


: any of a class (Chondrichthyes) of fishes (such as a shark, ray, or chimaera) having the skeleton wholly or largely composed of cartilage compare bony fish, jawless fish

Examples of cartilaginous fish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web However, sharks and other elasmobranchs—a group of cartilaginous fish including rays, skates and sawfish—are very sensitive to electric fields. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Dec. 2023 Kerby also encountered chimaeras, or ghost sharks, primitive cartilaginous fish with big heads, pointy snouts, fins like airplane wings, long trailing tails and shiny silver-dollar eyes. Susan Casey, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Aug. 2023 Scientists still don’t know why camelids and cartilaginous fishes, like sharks, are the only animals known to make heavy chain antibodies. Christina Szalinski, Discover Magazine, 22 Feb. 2023 Also present is Shenacanthus vermiformis, a cartilaginous fish related to sharks and rays, but with armor plates resembling those of unrelated placoderms — a find that suggests early sharklike species retained the armor-plates present in earlier branches of the fish family tree. Asher Elbein, New York Times, 28 Sep. 2022 Members of the cartilaginous fish family, alongside other fish made of cartilage rather than bone such as whale sharks, great white sharks, and stingrays, manta rays are the largest species of rays on the planet. Wendy Altschuler, Forbes, 26 Jan. 2023 Previous theories suggested that cartilaginous fish either gave rise to or shared a common, non-placoderm ancestor with osteichthyans. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 25 Sep. 2013 The evolutionary relationship between the extinct placoderms and osteichthyans, as well as cartilaginous fish known as chondrichthyes, is incompletely understood. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 25 Sep. 2013 Both animals belong firmly to the branch of jawed fish called the chondrichthyans, the group of cartilaginous fish that include modern sharks, rays and ratfish. Asher Elbein, New York Times, 28 Sep. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cartilaginous fish.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1769, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cartilaginous fish was in 1769

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Cite this Entry

“Cartilaginous fish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

cartilaginous fish

: any of the fishes having the skeleton composed largely of cartilage

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