Genus– † Elegestolepis
Status: EXTINCT. Elegestolepis is a primitive shark that lived during the Silurian and Devonian periods. It is also the oldest known shark, dating back to about 420 million years ago.
Denticles: Elegestolepis is only known from placoid scales discovered in Russia before 1973. The oldest of these scales have been dated back to the Ludlow epoch (427.4 Ma to 423 Ma). Some scales have been found that may yet represent another shark ancestor are known from 450 million years ago.
Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: So far, fossils of Elegestolepis have only been found in Russia.
Aesthetic Identification: Although the placoid scales of Elegestolepis are accepted to be those of a shark, delicate differences in the scales suggest that Elegestolepis itself may have been quite different in appearance to modern sharks. It is not known what Elegestolepis looked like.
Biology and Reproduction: Elegestolepis was closely related to Mongolepis and Polymerolepis.