The order Carcharhiniformes includes the largest number of shark species. Currently, seven families and more than 200 species are known. The group is widely distributed in tropical and temperate regions, from coastal regions to the continental slope. Most species are treated in Compagno (1984), and Australian species in Last & Stevens (2009).
The diversity in form of the 47 genera and over 200 species in this order is not particularly great, mostly reflecting contrasting requirements for bottom living and free swimming modes of existence. Genera are currently grouped into 7 families, 4 of which are represented in southern Aust waters. All have 2 dorsal fins, an anal fin and a transparent lower eyelid known as a nictitating membrane.
Cavanagh R.D., Kyne, P.M., Fowler, S.L., Musick, J.A. & Bennett, M.B. (eds). (2003). The Conservation Status of Australian Chondrichthyans: Report of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group Australia and Oceania Regional Red List Workshop. The University of Queensland, School of Biomedical Sciences, Brisbane, Australia. X+ 170pp.
Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125 Vol. 4 Pt 2. Rome : FAO pp. 251–655.
Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. 2nd edition. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 644 pp. 91 pls figs.