On the occurrence of walrus in the Thames Valley

W.J. Lewis Abbott
1892 Proceedings Geological Association  
R ea { F d .lay , lIf a y 6th , , 992 .] T H E R E are several mamm als which have appeared aga in a nd again in the Tham es Va lley, and yet on e never sees th em included in its fauna; a mongst th ese is the whale, whose bones have been discovered , in th e old gravels und er Lond on , on se veral occasi ons, in a state of preservatio n that leaves no doubt as to th eir fossil nature and their age . But more not a bly stands T richechus rosmarus, Linn ., which has been recorded from several
more » ... rded from several places on the east coa st, from th e Dogger Bank, and from th e pea t near Ely. In the Thame s Valley it was discovered at a depth of thirty-three feet two inch es during the excavations for the new London Docks. It was, however, considered to have" tu mbl ed down from above; " and so it has been passed by. In J 888 I sa w a tu sk taken out of th e gravel in excavating for a wharf in Upper Thames Str eet ; it was assoc iated with bo nes of pachyd erm s. Although 1 telt sure o f its identity, I was unabl e to procure th e specimen , as my eage rness to obta in it pr obably man ifested itself to th e workm a n, who imm ediately affected that he would not part with it. N ot long afterward s, however, in an excavati on between Lead enh al1 and Fe nchurch Streets a number o f bones were tak en out of th e gravel which underlies th e peat, which in turn un derlies th e R oman layer. The up per part of the gravel is stained somewha t b y th e peat, as are th e contained bo nes. Am ongst th e latter th ere was a large part of the sk ull of a walru s, with one tooth still left ill situ, th e others having bee n destroyed in th e rough usage to which it had been submitted in bygone tim es. T he state of pr eser vation is seen to be exactly similar to that of the othe r bone s found with it ; while its position leaves no qu estion in my mind as to its Pleistocen e age. I the refore venture to think that in future Trichechlts rosmarus sh ould be added to th e Tham es Valley iaun a. N OVE M~l ER, J 8 92 .]
doi:10.1016/s0016-7878(92)80018-4 fatcat:fadacnaag5dtvo3lf3bpbww6z4