Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin 2 - 2003

Fish otoliths from the Paleocene of Denmark

Werner Schwarzhans


The microscopic otoliths (granule of calcium carbonate in vertebrate inner ear) are becoming important for biostratigraphical evaluations in the Cenozoic of Europe. Recently, Denmark has proven to be an important area for the investigation of otoliths.

This bulletin presents a comprehensive account on Paleocene otoliths from eastern Denmark and recorded from respectively the Fakse Quarry (Danian), Gemmas Allé (Selandian) Sundkrogen (Selandian), Kongedybet (Selandian) and Vestre Gasværk (Selandian). The Selandian locations are all in the vicinity of Copenhagen, Denmark, but today they are covered. The described otolith material from these localities is therefore obtained from older collections.

The study describes and reinterprets the classic works of Koken (1891) and Roedel (1930) and new otolith based genera and species are introduced. The evolutionary history of the taxa is investigated and the palaeoecological significance and the palaeobiographical distribution are evaluated. The potential stratigraphical value of the taxa is investigated. Affinities to other otolith bearing locations in Europe and Greenland are discussed.