Fun Cretoxyrhina Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Cretoxyrhina Facts For Kids

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The Cretoxyrhina is an extinct family of large fish sharks that roamed the oceans about 73 - 107 million years ago. It is often referred to as the 'Ginsu shark' due to its name. Cretoxyrhina was a great white shark that lived in the seas around the world and was about 26.2-85.3 ft (8-26 m) long. It was one of the largest sharks during its time. The specimen of Cretoxyrhina states that it was a shark that had razor-sharp teeth embedded which were found in Kansas as a fossil and were capable of slashing and stabbing its prey. It was also one of the fastest swimming sharks. It is a contraction of the word 'creto', which is derived from ancient Greek and it is believed that Cretoxyrhina had a sharp nose.

Cretoxyrhina reached its peak during the Coniacian period, but then gradually declined until it was eventually killed during the Campanian phase. One of the reasons for its decline may have been the presence of predators such as the giant mosasaur Tylosaurus and bony fish. These fishes weighed over 10899.6 lb (4,944 kg) and measured 26.2 ft (8 m) in length.

For more relatable content, check out these Limnoscelis facts and Rhomaleosaurus facts for kids.

Fun Cretoxyrhina Facts For Kids

What did they prey on?

Plesiosaurs, turtles, mosasaurs, other sharks

What did they eat?


Average litter size?


How much did they weigh?

10899.6 lb (4,944 kg)

How long were they?

26.2 ft (8 m)

How tall were they?


What did they look like?

Gray white

Skin Type

Smooth scales

What were their main threats?

Habitat loss and seized by other predators

Where were they found?



North America









Scientific Name

Cretoxyrhina mantelli

How scary were they?


How loud were they?


How intelligent were they?


Cretoxyrhina Interesting Facts

Was the Cretoxyrhina a dinosaur?

No, Cretoxyrhina mantelli (Agassiz, 1835) belongs to the huge shark family. Contrary to popular belief, sharks didn't go out to sea to hunt dinosaurs. They preyed on the carcasses of hadrosaurs and ankylosaurs which drifted out to the sea.

How do you pronounce 'Cretoxyrhina'?

To pronounce the word 'Cretoxyrhina', the phonetic must be 'creh-tox-ee-rye-nah', breaking the big word into five small words.

What type of prehistoric animal was a Cretoxyrhina?

The Cretoxyrhina family of large sharks is an extinct group of fish that roamed the oceans about 73 - 106 million years ago. The type species that is commonly referred to as 'Ginsu shark' was first introduced in 1897.

In which geological period did the Cretoxyrhina live?

Cretoxyrhina was a member of the Coniacian period. It saw its peak in size during the Campanian time period. Its decline continued until it died out. The Cretoxyrhina was an extinct family of fish sharks that roamed the oceans during the last couple of million years. These were found in Kansas during the late Albian to late Campanian of the Late Cretaceous period.

When did the Cretoxyrhina become extinct?

The Cretoxyrhina was a massive herbivore that roamed the Coniacian territory. It reached its peak in size around the time of the Campanian extinction, but it quickly declined until it was eradicated nearly about 73 - 107 million years ago.

Where did a Cretoxyrhina live?

Cretoxyrhina was known to have lived in various locations, such as North America, Europe, Israel, and Kazakhstan. The fossils of these animals have been discovered in different latitudes, such as latitudes north of 55 degrees. These regions are now known as the 'Western Interior Seaway'.

What was a Cretoxyrhina's habitat?

Cretoxyrhina (lamniform shark) resided in temperate to subtropical oceans. It is believed that on occasion, the animal swam into brackish bodies of water. During the Cretoxyrhina period, the climate was significantly warmer than it is today due to the significant increase in greenhouse gases.

Who did a Cretoxyrhina live with?

Cretoxyrhina was mainly focused on other active predators such as ichthyodectids, turtles, and sharks. These marine animals hunt alone or in groups of two to three in the western seas like whale sharks.

How long did a Cretoxyrhina live?

The Ginsu shark (Cretoxyrhina mantelli) was calculated to have a lifespan of nearly 40 years. These marine animals grow very fast and reach their sexual maturity at the early ages, around five years old. These great white shark animals from Cretaceous seas are similar to porbeagle sharks.

How did they reproduce?

It is believed that Cretoxyrhina is ovoviviparous like any other shark, which means that it competed against other sharks for food by cannibalism such as oophagy (egg-eating). Young are then hatched and grow inside the mother. Due to the presence of large predators like Tylosaurus, also like Xiphactinus, it is likely that Cretoxyrhina produced many infants. These sharks could produce two - nine offspring at a time. The reproduction of these fishes is similar to other sharks like Caribbean reef sharks.

Cretoxyrhina Fun Facts

What did a Cretoxyrhina look like?

Cretoxyrhina had a curved and smooth appearance. Its teeth and bite marks suggest that it used brutal force to take down its prey. These are some of the largest fishes of their time weighing over 10899.6 lb (4,944 kg) and measuring 26.2 ft (8 m) in length. They are specifically gray in color like gray reef sharks.

Cretoxyrhina shark was a large and curved creature whose teeth and bite marks suggest that it was a ruthless attacker.

How many bones did a Cretoxyrhina have?

There is no specific description that tells the count of the bones that were found of Cretoxyrhina from the Cretaceous famous for their sharp tooth jaws. The specimen of this mosasaur predator was recovered from many areas throughout the world.

How did they communicate?

Like any other shark family, these huge fishes' from the Cretaceous period with strong tooth jaws also communicated with each other. With gaping, sharks can communicate with each other. They can also learn to communicate with humans by using their six senses.

How big was a Cretoxyrhina?

Cretoxyrhina was one of the biggest marine animals. It was 26.2 ft (8 m) long compared to a human which is very large and was 10899.6 lb (4,944 kg) in weight. The specimen of these sharks were found worldwide. They had very strong teeth and sharp jaws. The skin of the back Cretoxyrhina was smooth and scaly.

How fast could a Cretoxyrhina swim?

Mantelli modeled Cretoxyrhina's average speed at 7 mph (11.3 kph). The lamniform shark can swim really fast in the sea. The skin of the back Cretoxyrhina is made of cartilage and of smooth skin which helps it go through the water more easily is from the upper Cretaceous period.

How much did a Cretoxyrhina weigh?

The fossil of an adult Cretoxyrhina mantelli says that it weighs over 10899.6 lb (4,944 kg). The remains of this fierce predator were very famous because of their sharp teeth that can easily crush their prey. The meaning Cretoxyrhina is Cretaceous jaws.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There is no particular name for this marine brood with sharp teeth. The female and male mosasaurs are called lamniform sharks from the Cretaceous period. The fossil of this huge marine animal was found worldwide more specifically in the Western Interior Seaway and Kansas.

What would you call a baby Cretoxyrhina?

There is no specific report of the baby Cretoxyrhina mantelli. These are called lamniform sharks. The remains of the Cretoxyrhina fossil were found in North America and other areas like Kansas from the upper Cretaceous of northeastern Italy.

What did they eat?

The brood of the fishes is a carnivore like the blue whale. Cretoxyrhina most likely used hunting strategies that were similar to those utilized by lamnids and requiem sharks. It is itself a very aggressive predator, Cretoxyrhina fed on mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and even the giant bony fish Xiphactinus. They had hard teeth which helped them to crush these. The specimen of the tooth of this species was found near Kansas which says it was fully build-up of cartilage and had sharp teeth.

How aggressive were they?

Cretoxyrhina was a type of large mackerel shark that lived from 73 - 107 million years ago. It was first popularized as the Ginsu shark. They were quite aggressive to other species. The small fishes and turtles became their prey.

Did you know...

The recovery of a specimen of this shark states that it was not endemic to any particular area. It was found worldwide. They were commonly seen in North America.

When did the Cretoxyrhina go extinct?

Cretoxyrhina lived in the Coniacian time period. It saw its peak in size during the Campanian period, but it then declined until it died. One possible reason for its extinction was the competition it faced from other dinosaurs, as predators such as the Tylosaurus and bony fish.

Is Cretoxyrhina a reptile?

No, this marine great white shark is an extinct family of giant sharks. The fossil was found in the reptile vertebra, Cretoxyrhina teeth embedded in it.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly prehistoric animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Tapinocephalus interesting facts and Phenacodus fun facts for kids pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Cretoxyrhina coloring pages.

Main image by Mark P. Witton.

Second image by Damouraptor.

Written By
Ayan Banerjee

Content writer Ayan has many interests, including writing, such as travel, and playing music and sport. He is even a drummer in a band. With a degree in nautical science, Ayan is also a member of the Chanakya Literary Committee and on the editorial board of 'The Indian Cadet' magazine. You will find Ayan on the badminton court, playing table tennis, trekking the countryside, or running a marathon when he's not writing.

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