First Deep-Sea Shark Fossil Teeth from the Miocene of South Korea

  • Chan-gyu Yun Biological Sciences, Inha University
Keywords: Pohang Basin, Miocene, Korean Peninsula, East sea, shark fossil


Important vertebrate fossil records have been collected in the Pohang Basin in South Korea for many decades, but only a few were described in literature. In this work, three deep-sea shark teeth are described, which were probably found in the Duho Formation (middle Miocene) in Pohang City, South Korea. One of these is identified as from the genus Mitsukurina, while the others are assignable to Dalatias. None of these taxa were previously reported in the fossil record of Korean Peninsula. The occurrences of these deep-water fishes in the Pohang Basin support the hypotheses that the Duho Formation was deposited in deep-sea environment, and sharks, even including benthopelagic forms were already widely distributed throughout the East sea when this sea was still developing.  


Adnet, S., Cappetta, H., Reynders, J. 2008. Contribution of Eocene sharks and rays from Southern France to the history of deep-sea selachians. Acta Geologica Polonica, 58, 257-260.

Berg, L. S. 1937. A classification of fish-like vertebrates. Bulletin of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Division of Chemical Science, 1937, 1277-1280.

Bonnaterre, J. P. 1788. Tableau encyclopedique et methodique des trois Regnes de Ia nature. Ichthyologie. Panckoucke, Paris, Panckoucke, 1-215.

Cappetta, H. 2012. Handbook of Paleoichthyology, Volume 3E: Chondrichthyes - Mesozoic and Cenozoic Elasmobranchii: Teeth. Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, Munich, 1-512.

Cappetta, H., Gregorová, R., Adnet, S. 2016. New selachian assemblages from the Oligocene of Moravia (Czech Republic). Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie-Abhandlungen, 280, 259-284.

Carrillo-Briceсo, J. D., De Gracia, C., Pimiento, C., Aguilera, O. A., Kindlimann, R., Santamarina, P., Jaramillo, C. 2015. A new Late Miocene chondrichthyan assemblage from the Chagres Formation, Panama. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, 60, 56-70.

Carrillo-Briceсo, J. D., Argyriou, T., Zapata, V., Kindlimann, R., Jaramillo, C. A. 2016. A new Early Miocene (Aquitanian) Elasmobranchii assemblage from the Gaujira Peninsula, Colombia. Ameghiniana, 53, 77-99.

Carrillo-Briceño, J. D., Luz, Z., Hendy, A., Kocsis, L., Aguilera, O., Vennemann, T. 2019. Neogene Caribbean elasmobranchs: diversity, paleoecology and paleoenvironmental significance of the Cocinetas Basin assemblage (Guajira Peninsula, Colombia). Biogeosciences, 16, 33-56.

Carrillo-Briceño, J. D., Villafaña, J. A., De Gracia, C., Flores-Alcívar, F. F., Kindlimann, R., Abella, J. 2020. Diversity and paleoenvironmental implications of an elasmobranch assemblage from the Oligocene-Miocene boundary of Ecuador. PeerJ, 8, e9051.

Choi, S., Lee, Y-N. 2017. A review of vertebrate body fossils from the Korean Peninsula and perspectives. Geosciences Journal, 21, 867-889.

Chun, H. Y. 2004. Taxonomic and morphological diversity of the Miocene Pohang Flora. Geology of Korea, Special Publication, 2, 25-38.

Cione, A. L., Cabrera, D., Barla, M. J. 2012. Oldest record of the great White shark (Lamnidae, Carcharodon; Miocene) in the southern Atlantic. Geobios, 45, 167-172.

Duffy, C. A. J. 1997. Further records of the goblin shark, Mitsukurina owstoni (Lamniformes: Mitsukurinidae), from New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 24, 167-171.

Duffy, C. A. J., Ebert, D. A., Stenberg, C. 2004. Mitsukurina owstoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 2004, e.T44565A10907385.

Ergüden, D., Çekiç, M., Alagöz Ergüden, S., Altun, A., Uygur, N. 2017. Occurrence of adult female kitefin shark Dalatias licha (Bonnaterre, 1788) in Iskenderun Bay (Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey). Commagene Journal of Biology, 1, 60-62.

Finucci, B., Walls, R. H. L., Guallart, J., Kyne, P.M. 2018. Dalatias licha. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 2018, e.T6229A3111662.

Goodrich, E. S. 1909. Vertebrata Craniata (First fascicle: Cyclostomes and Fishes). In: Lankester R, ed. A treatise on Zoology. Adam and Charles Black, London, 1-518.

Gray, J. E. 1851. List of the specimens of fish in the collection of the British Museum. Part I. Chondropterygii. British Museum. (Natural History), London, 1-160.

Jordan, D.S. 1898. Description of a species of fish (Mitsukurina owstoni) from Japan, the type of a distinct family of lamnoid sharks. Proceeding of the California Academy of Sciences, 1, 199-202.

Jovanović, G., Trif, N., Codrea, V., Đurić, D. 2019. Middle Miocene shark teeth from the southern margin of the Pannonian Basin System (Serbia, Central Paratethys). Geološki anali Balkanskoga poluostrva, 80, 29-43.

Jung, S. H., Lee, S. J. 2009. Fossil winged fruits of Fraxinus (Oleaceae) and Liriodendron (Magnoliaceae) from the Duho Formation, Pohang Basin, Korea. Acta Geologica Sinica, 83, 845-852.

Keyes, I. W. 1984. New records of fossil elasmobranch genera Megascyliorhinus, Centrophorus, and Dalatias (Order Selachii) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 27, 203-216.

Kim, B. K., Choi, D. K. 1977. Species Diversity of Benthonic Foraminifera in the Tertiary. Journal of the Geological Society of Korea, 13, 111-120. [In Korean.]

Kim, J., Paik, I. S. 2013. Chondrites from the Duho Formation (Miocene) in the Yeonil Group, Pohang Basin, Korea: Occurrences and paleoenvironmental implications. Journal of the Geological Society of Korea, 49, 407-416.

Kim, S.-H., Park, J.-Y., Lee, Y.-N. 2018. A tooth of Cosmopolitodus hastalis (Elasmobranchii: Lamnidae) from the Duho Formation (Middle Miocene) of Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea. Journal of the Geological Society of Korea, 54, 121-131 [In Korean].

Ko, J. Y., Nam, K. S. 2016. Pleuronichthys sp. Fossils (Pleuronectidae) from the Duho Formation, Pohang Uhyeon-dong in Korea. Journal of the Korean Earth Science Society, 37, 133-142.

Kocsis, L. 2007. Central paratethyan shark fauna (Ipolytarnóc, Hungary). Geologica Carpathica, 58, 27-40.

Kriwet, J., Klug, S. 2008. Fossil record and origin of squaliform sharks (Chondrichthyes, Neoselachii). In: Gallucci, V. F. McFarlane, G. A., Bargmann, G. G., eds. Biology and Management of Dogfish Sharks. American Fisheries Society. Bethesda, Maryland, 19-38.

Lee, H. K., Moon, H.-S., Min, K. D., Kim, I.-S., Yun, H., Itaya, T. 1992. Paleomagnetism, stratigraphy and geologic structure of the Tertiary Pohang and Changgi basins; K-Ar ages for the volcanic rocks. Journal of the Korean Institute of Mining Geology, 25, 337-349 [In Korean.].

Lee, T. H., Yi, K., Cheong, C. S., Jeong, Y. J., Kim, N., Kim, M. J. 2014 a. SHRIMP U-Pb Zircon Geochronology and Geochemistry of Drill Cores from the Pohang Basin. Journal of Petrological Society of Korea, 23, 167-185 [In Korean].

Lee, Y.-N., Lee, H. J., Hwang, J. H. 2014 b, Great white shark tooth from the Seogwipo Formation, Jeju Island. Journal of the Geological Society of Korea, 50, 643-647 [In Korean].

Mallefet, J., Stevens, D. W., Duchatelet, L. 2021. Bioluminescence of the Largest Luminous Vertebrate, the Kitefin Shark, Dalatias licha: First Insights and Comparative Aspects. Frontiers in Marine Science, 8, 633582.

Malyshkina, T. P., Nazarkin, M. V., Nam, G.-S. 2021. A Miocene elasmobranchian fauna of the Duho Formation, South Korea. The 67th Annual Session of the Palaeontological Society of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Abstract: 115-117.

Mannering, A. L. A., Hiller, N. 2008. An early Cenozoic neoselachian shark fauna from the Southwest Pacific. Palaeontology, 51, 1341-1365.

Nakaya, K., Tomita, T., Suda, K., Sato, K., Ogimoto, K., Chappell, A., Sato, T., Takano, K., Yuki, Y. 2016. Slingshot feeding of the goblin shark Mitsukurina owstoni (Pices: Lamniformes: Mitsukurinidae). Scientific Reports, 6, 27786.

Nam, K.-S., Nazarkin, M. V. 2018. Fossil prowfish, Zaprora koreana, sp. nov. (Pisces, Zaproridae), from the Neogene of South Korea. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 38, e1514616.

Nam, K.-S., Ko, J.-Y., Nazarkin, M. V. 2019. A new lightfish, †Vinciguerria orientalis, sp. nov. (Teleostei, Stomiiformes, Phosichthyidae), from the middle Miocene of South Korea. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 39, e1625911.

Nazarkin, M. V. 2013. Hooked Mako Isurus planus (Agassiz, 1856) from the Miocene of Sakhalin. Zoosystematica Rossica, 22, 311-314.

Nazarkin, M. V. 2014. Gill rakers of basking sharks (Lamniformes: Cetorhinidae) from the Tertiary of Sakhalin Island, Russia. Zoosystematica Rossica, 23, 269-275.

Nazarkin, M. V., Malyshkina, T. P. 2012. The first reliable record of selachians from the Neogene deposits of Sakhalin Island. Zoosystematica Rossica, 21, 180-184.

Nishimatsu, K. 2019. Deep-sea elasmobranchs from the late early to middle Miocene (Burdigalian-Langhian) Makino Formation (Awa Group), Japan. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 39, e1597729.

Nishimatsu, K., Ujihara, A. 2019. A New Deep-Sea Shark Scymnodalatias kazenobon (Squaliformes, Somniosidae) from the Miocene Yatsuo Group in Central Japan. Paleontological Research, 23, 23-28.

Pavlyutkin, B. I., Yabe, A., Golozoubov, V. V., Simanenko, L. F. 2016. Miocene floral changes in the circum‐Japan Sea areas-their implications in the climatic changes and the time of Japan Sea Opening. Memoirs of the National Museum of Nature and Science, 51, 109-123.

Pollerspöck, J., Straube, N. 2018. An identification key to elasmobranch genera based on dental morphological characters Part A: Squalomorph sharks (Superorder Squalomorphii). Bulletin of Fish Biology, 18, 77-105.

Probst, J. 1879. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der fossilen Fische aus der Molasse von Baltringen. Hayfische. Jahreshefte des Vereins für vaterländische Naturkunde in Württemberg, 35, 127-191.

Rafinesque, C. S. 1810. Caratteri di alcuni nuovi generi e nuove specie di Animali e Piante della Sicilia con varie osservazioni sopra i medesimi. Palermo, Italy. 1-105.

Roberts, C. D., Stewart, A. L., Struthers, C. D. 2015. The Fishes of New Zealand, Vol. 2. Te Papa Press, Wellington, 1-576.

Seong, M. N., Kong, D. Y., Lee, B. J., Lee, S. J. 2009. Cenozoic Brittle Stars (Ophiuroidea) from the Hagjeon Formation and the Duho Formation, Pohang Basin, Korea, Economic and Environmental Geology, 42, 367-376 [In Korean].

Soto, J. M. R., Mincarone, M. M. 2001. First record of the kitefin shark Dalatias licha (Bonnaterre, 1788) (Chondrichthyes, Datatiidae). Mare Magnum, 1, 23-26.

Suzuki, H. 2015. A new genus of the Family Dalatiidae (Chondrichthyes: Elasmobranchii) from the Miocene of Japan. Journal of Fossil Research, 47, 41-47.

Takakuwa, Y. 2006. A deep-sea shark assemblage from the Miocene in southwest of Gunma Prefecture, central Japan and the biogeographical significance. Fossils, 81, 24-44. [In Japanese.]

Underwood, C. J., Schlögl, J. 2013. Deep−water chondrichthyans from the Early Miocene of the Vienna Basin (Central Paratethys, Slovakia). Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 58, 487-509.

Welton, B. J. 2016. A new dalatiid shark (Squaliformes: Dalatiidae) from the Early Oligocene of Oregon and California, USA. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin, 74, 289-302.

Yano, K., Miya, M., Aizawa, M., Noichi, T. 2007. Some aspects of the biology of the goblin shark, Mitsukurina owstoni, collected from the Tokyo Submarine Canyon and adjacent waters, Japan. Ichthyological Research, 54, 388-398.

Yun, H. 1985. Some fossil Squillidae (Stomatopoda) from the Pohang Tertiary Basin, Korea. Journal of the Paleontological Society of Korea, 1, 19-31.

Yun, C.-G. 2020. New example of Cosmopolitodus hastalis (Lamniformes, Lamnidae) from the Miocene of South Korea. Zoodiversity, 54, 433-438.

How to Cite
Yun, C.- gyu. (2021). First Deep-Sea Shark Fossil Teeth from the Miocene of South Korea. Zoodiversity, 55(3), 225–232.