Large, active, pelagic sharks with a pointed snout, a spindle-shaped body, a long mouth with large blade-like teeth, long gill slits, minute second dorsal and anal fins, much smaller than first dorsal fin, a lunate caudal fin, large lateral keels and prominent precaudal pits on the caudal peduncle, eyes without nictitating membranes.
Like pelagic tunas, lamnids have elevated body temperatures for more efficient sustained swimming.
Reproduction is viviparous without a yolk-sac placenta, and the developing embryos feeding on other eggs and smaller embryos.
Lamnids are broadly distributed in almost all seas from the surf zone and intertidal regions to the outer continental shelves and the open ocean (rarely on the continental slopes) to at least 1280 m.
Family with 3 genera and 5 species.