History of the type specimen

In 1874 Johnson described a new species of deer from Happisburgh (Forest Bed Formation, Norfolk coast, UK), based on a left frontal bone with a portion of antler, and named it Cervus latifrons.

Johnson pointed out that this species "is certainly new to Britain and...has not been found in any deposit of corresponding age with the Forest-Bed on the continent".

He proposed the specific name latifrons because "it is characterised by the great breadth of the frontal bone" and attributed it to the genus Cervus, the only deer genus recognised at that time.

Following authors put latifrons in the new genus Cervalces and maintained that the holotype from Happisburgh is inadequate because it is too fragmentary and of unclear age (at Happisburgh both Lower and Middle Pleistocene deposits outcrop). A neural skull with a basal portion of the antler from the Forest Bed at Mundesley (Norfolk Coast, UK) has been suggested as the new typus (type specimen).

Share this
Glossary
Articular facet of the ungueal phalanx

Portion of the phalanx bearing the nails/claws which articulates to the previous finger/toe bones.

Chronospecies

A group of organisms that is derived from its ancestor (and/or develops into its descendant) by a process of slow, steady, evolutionary change and is not regarded as a member of the same species as its ancestor and/or descendant.

Cuneiforms

Bones of the ankle.

Ethology

Scientific study of animal behaviour.

Forbs

Herbaceous flowering plants that are not graminoids (grasses, sedges and rushes). The term is used in vegetation ecology to represent a guild of grassland plant species with broadly similar growth form, which in ecology is often more important than taxonomic relationship.

Holotype

The single specimen designated by an author to formally describe a new species.

Navico-cuboid

Main bone of the ankle of Ruminant animals.

Non-gregarious

Non-social, solitary

Metapodials

Hand and foot bones between the fingers/toes and the wrist/ankle.

Palustrine

Living in a marsh or swamp.

Phalanges

Bones of the fingers and toes.

Phyletic lineage

Ancestor-descendent populations that undergo morphological change over time.

Telmatic vegetation

Vegetation living in the swamp zone of a lake developing into a bog.