Thursday 12th May
Neil Chalmers Seminar Room, DC2, 16:00
Eocene mammals from Abbey Wood: evidence of tropical London?
By: Jerry Hooker Department of Palaeontology, NHM
With a tally of 46 species after 40 years of major excavation, the Blackheath Formation of Abbey Wood, London Borough of Bexley, has yielded the richest Early Eocene mammal fauna in the UK. New evidence for close proximity of the coast may explain the occurrence of such a diversity of land mammals in this marine deposit. A dawn horse is the most abundant species, representing the richest assemblage known from Europe and facilitating comparison with those from North America. Several species of mammal are indistinguishable from ones in the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming, and testify to limited intercontinental interchange half a million years after the major northern hemisphere Mammalian Dispersal Event at the very beginning of the Eocene. Ecological diversity analysis of the mammals indicates a broadleaved evergreen forested habitat and supports palaeobotanical evidence for paratropical-aspect forest in the Early Eocene.
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