Fossil proboscideans from the Netherlands, the North Sea and the Oosterschelde Estuary
Deinsea , Volume 6 - Issue 1 p. 119- 146
This paper reviews the most important findings of proboscidean fossils from The Netherlands, both from the mainland as well as those dredged by fisherman from the estuaries and the Southern Bight of the North Sea. The oldest, Pliocene, proboscidean remains from The Netherlands are a few isolated molars of Mammut borsoni from Liessel. Also Anancus arvernensis occurs at this locality. An Early Pleistocene fauna with A. arvernensis and M. meridionalis has been dredged from the Oosterschelde Estuary. The Oosterschelde fauna, with an estimated age of 1.9 myr, is slightly older than the vertebrate fauna from the clay pits at Tegelen. The postcranial fossils of Anancus and Mammuthus meridiona - lis, both heavily mineralized, can be easily distinguished based on size differences, but also on morphological grounds. Whereas Anancus has its latest occurrence in the Oosterschelde assemblage, M. meridionalis continues well into the Middle Pleistocene and is known from Dutch mainland localities as well as from the North Sea. From the North Sea also a few molars of M. trogontherii have been dredged. Fossils of the straight-tusked elephant, E. antiquus, are rare. Some of the earlier remains of this species occur in mainland sites and have a late Middle Pleistocene age. Late Pleistocene proboscideans are restricted to M. primigenius and E. antiquus, both showing a light degree of fossilization. While the woolly mammoth is known from a wealth of shallow localities in The Netherlands, it is especially common amongst fossils dredged from the North Sea. Late Pleistocene E. antiquus remains are rare.