A review of the Pleistocene occurrence of the extinct land snail Zonitoides sepultus in Europe, including the first records from Britain and France

Submitted by admin on Sun, 20/11/2011 18:54
R.C. PREECE
T. MEIJER
(2002)
Volume
37
Part
6
Page from
627

The Pleistocene occurrence of Zonitoides sepultus, an extinct zonitid land snail, is reviewed. The species is now known from 23 sites, ranging from Hungary and Poland in the east to northern France and eastern England in the west. The four British records, from Beeches Pit, West Stow (Suffolk), Barnfield Pit, Swanscombe (Kent), Clacton-on-Sea (Essex) and Barling (Essex), and the French record from St Pierre-les-Elbeuf (Normandy) are new. Stratigraphically, the oldest records date from the Early Pleistocene of Poland and The Netherlands, where Z. sepultus occurs in sediments of Tiglian age. However, it appears to have been widespread in central Europe during the Middle Pleistocene, especially in calcareous tufas of Holsteinian (= Hoxnian) age. This suggests that the species may have had an ecological preference for damp woodland habitats. The new sites in Britain and France are all Middle Pleistocene in age and, apart from Barling, appear to date from the same interglacial (the Hoxnian). The Barling record seems to be younger, probably dating from the subsequent interglacial stage, and is therefore likely to be the same age as that from Belvédère in The Netherlands. These two late Middle Pleistocene records from western Europe therefore represent the last known occurrence of the species.

Keywords
Zonitoides sepultus
Pleistocene
Holsteinian
Hoxnian
calcareous tufa