These sharks have pointed snouts, spindle-shaped bodies, and large gill openings. The first dorsal fin is large, high, stiff and angular or somewhat rounded. The second dorsal and anal fins are minute. The caudal peduncle has a couple or less distinct keels. The teeth are gigantic. The fifth gill opening is in front of the pectoral fin and spiracles are sometimes absent. They are heavily-built sharks, sometimes weighing nearly twice as much as sharks of comparable length from other families. Many in the family are among the fastest-swimming fish, although the massive Carcharodon are slower due to their great size.
Genera and species 
The family contains five living species in three genera:
- Genus Carcharodon Smith, 1838
- Genus Isurus Rafinesque, 1810
- Genus Lamna Cuvier, 1816
See also 
|Wikispecies has information related to: Lamnidae|