Geologica Belgica Geologica Belgica -  volume 15 (2012)  number 1-2 

Large Centrophorus (Chondrichthyes, Squaliformes) of the Belgian Neogene continental shelf.


Averbeekstraat 23/1.02, 1745 Opwijk, Belgium. E-mail:


Laboratory of Genetics, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 309, 6700 AH Wageningen, the Netherlands. E-mail:


A number of isolated teeth of gulper sharks (genus Centrophorus Müller & Henle, 1837) have been recovered from Neogene sands in the Antwerp area, marking the first occurrence of the genus Centrophorus in the fossil record of Belgium and the North Sea Basin. The precise stratigraphic origin of these teeth could not be established, but the taphonomic condition strongly suggests a Late Miocene or Early Pliocene age, although reworking from older Miocene strata cannot be excluded. These teeth are remarkable for the presence of serrated cutting edges of both upper and lower teeth as well as their large size. The teeth, that measure up to 1 cm, are the largest fossil Centrophorus reported in literature. The subtle differences between the teeth of different Centrophorus species and the paucity of comparative extant material prohibit specific attribution, but the teeth pertain to individuals that equalled the largest extant species. The occurrence of these large Centrophorus in the Belgian deposits is remarkable as Centrophorus usually prefers deeper waters.

To cite this article

Pieter J. DE SCHUTTER & Erik WIJNKER, «Large Centrophorus (Chondrichthyes, Squaliformes) of the Belgian Neogene continental shelf.», Geologica Belgica [En ligne], volume 15 (2012), number 1-2, 26-35 URL :