A pre-Ipswichian cold stage mammalian fauna from the Balderton Sand and Gravel, Lincolnshire, England



The Balderton Sand and Gravel has yielded one of very few mammalian faunas dated to the penultimate Cold Stage in Britain. The assemblage is dominated by mammoth and woolly rhinoceros, with subordinate horse, red deer, bison, straight-tusked elephant, musk ox, reindeer, wolf, lion, brown bear and cf. narrow-nosed rhinoceros. This fauna indicates cold stage conditions, probably including one or more interstadial episodes. The presence of straight-tusked elephant and cf. narrow-nosed rhinoceros supports its pre-Devensian age, and provides corroboration for the occurrence of these taxa in the British Wolstonian. An attempt is made to analyse the fossil collection by preservation type and adhering sediment: the occurrence of individual species appears to be largely uncorrelated with lithology. The Balderton assemblage corresponds well to other British mammal faunas assigned to a cold interval between the Hoxnian and Ipswichian Interglacials.