Hippochrenes amplus is an extinct marine snail that is closely related to the living ‘true conchs’ belonging to the family Strombidae.
Hippochrenes amplus is an iconic gastropod shell from the Eocene epoch of southern England.The presence of Hippochrenes indicates that a shallow subtropical sea extended over southern England 40 million years ago.
The original type specimen of Hippochrenes amplus specimen (G 61973) forms part of the Brander collection of Barton fossils presented to the museum in 1765. This is the oldest collection held in the Department of Palaeontology
Gustavus Brander (1720-1787) depicted holding the type specimen of Strombus amplus.
This species was first described and illustrated in 1766 by Daniel Solander, a naturalist working at the British Museum. Solander was a student of the famous Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) who introduced the binomial system for the scientific names of species. It is one of the earliest fossil species described using the two names – genus and species - of the Linnaean binomial system that we still use today. Hippochrenes amplus was first described under the name Strombus amplus.
The original type specimen of Hippochrenes amplus is depicted in a portrait of its discoverer Gustavus Brander, who was the author of the book in which Solander described this species. This portrait is in the museum collections.He is shown proudly holding the shell onto which is inked “Hordel in Hampshire 1749”. This refers to present day Hordle in Hampshire, the village then closest to the sea cliffs where he found the fossil. Today these cliffs lie between Highcliffe and Barton-on-Sea.
Find out the characteristics of the family that Hippochrenes amplus belongs to.
Find out where Hippochrenes amplus can be found, the most commonly found specimen type and what is known about this now extinct species' diet.
Learn about the three life stages of Hippochrenes amplus and other factors relating to its lifecycle.
Discover the various evidence that has helped deduce how this extinct species and its genus would have behaved.
Get reference material for Hippochrenes amplus.