Family HEXANCHIDAE Gray, 1851

Hexanchus griseus (Bonnaterre, 1788)
[H. gigas (Sismonda, 1861)]










Doel (Antwerp area)
Deurganckdok (2003)

Early Pliocene,
Kattendijk Sands
in situ


Two large lower lateral teeth of Hexanchus aff. griseus were recovered during the excavation of a whale skeleton (Mysticeti: Balaenoptera) in the middle of the Kattendijk Sands, early Zanclean (Deurganckdok, Belgium). One tooth measured 42 mm in width (Fig. above). This shark had an estimated body size of 4.42 m (Adnet & Martin, 2007: 283). The second tooth was attached with phosphorite on the whale’s skull. This confirms that this deep-sea predator was also an opportunistic scavenger in shallow water (45-70 m) during the early Zanclean.

ADNET, S. & MARTIN, R.A., 2007. Increase of body size in sixgill sharks with change in diet as a possible background of their evolution. Historical Biology, 19(4): 279-289.

Basal Pliocene, reworked Lillo Formation, Antwerp area, Belgium
Photo & collection Stephane Knoll

Berchem (Antwerp area), Pliocene (ex situ) -- W(tooth)=45mm
This exceptional tooth was found after splitting the concretion.
Doel (Antwerp area), Deurganckdok, Basal Pliocene, ex situ
Berchem (Antwerp area), Pliocene (ex situ) - W=21mm
Mixed Neogene, Doel (H-1940), Belgium
Mixed Neogene, Doel (H-1940), Belgium
Mixed Neogene, Doel (H-1940), Belgium
Mixed Neogene, Doel (H-1940), Belgium
Lower jaw -- H=16mm