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Rhinocephalus planiceps

Scientific Classification

Class:               Actinopterygii (Ray-finned Fish)

Order:              Gadiformes

Family:             Merlucciidae (Merluccid Hakes)

Genus:             Rhinocephalus

Species:           planiceps (Casier 1966)


This fairly common species of Merluccid bone fish is most commonly found in Division B1/B2 section of the London clay at Tankerton in Kent. However it does occur on Sheppey where the preservation generally better. This species has a very distinctive top of the skull which makes it easy to identify.

3D Reference Specimen - Fred Clouter, 1996 - Code: SH286

Reference Specimen - Detailed Photos

Notable Features

•No sclerotic ossicle •Prominent median ridge on top of skull •Extra long supraoccipital spine •Divergong epiotic spines •Double row of small teeth on on slender jaws

CT Scan of Specimen - Fred Clouter, 1996 - Code: SH286

Artistic Reconstruction / Reference Modern Equivalent

Rhinocephalus planiceps (Casier 1966) has a very similar skull structure as modern Hake. See image representing the modern Silver Hake

Silver Hake_edited.jpg
Hake 2.jpg

Additional Collector Specimen Gallery

Museum Specimens Gallery

Image attribution: Natural History Museum London Palaeontological Collections - Collection specimens - Specimens - Data Portal (

Reference Material:

  • Casier, E. (1966) Fauna ichthyologique du London Clay. British Museum Natural History London, 1966, 1-496

  • Raynor, Mitchell, Clouter (2009) London Clay Fossils of Kent and Essex 

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