‘eighty years of promoting biodiversity conservation through taxonomic research, scientific training and international networks’

Harrison Institute, Centre for Biodiversity Research

Fossil bearing cliffs at Sidestrand, Norfolk.

Fossil bearing deposits at West Runton, Norfolk.

David Harrison (centre) with Sally Balcon (Institute Trustee), and John Clayden, who collected many of the most spectacular Pleistocene fossils from the North Norfolk beds.


A review of the small mammal faunas from a variety Middle and Early Pleistocene sites of north Norfolk


Host country:
United Kingdom


Project objective: To obtain a variety Pleistocene mammals from of the north Norfolk coastline, including Early Pleistocene (1.8 million years before present [m.y.b.p]). fossils from Sidestrand and Middle Pleistocene (0.5 m.y.b.p.) fossils from West and East Runton. Highlights included the earliest known noctule bat, Nyctalus noctula, from Europe and two first records of mammals from Britain, namely Kowalski’s lemming, Lemmus kowalskii, and the shrew Macroneomys brachygnathus.  A summary of the material from Sidestrand is included in Harrison et al. (1988) and from West and East Runton in Harrison (1986) – see below.


Institute contact:
Dr David Harrison – hzm@btinternet.com


Principal Collaborators: John Clayden; Dr Martin Warren of the Cromer Museum; and Dr Simon Parfitt of the Natural History Museum, London.


Principal Funder: Harrison Institute


Project dates: March, 1984 – December, 1987


Publication from the project:

Harrison, D. L. and P. J. J. Bates. 1984. Occurrence of Nyctalus noctula Schreber, 1774 (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in the Cromerian Interglacial of England. Mammalia Paris 48(4): 603-606.

Harrison, D. L., 1986. Quaternary Research in East Anglia at the Harrison Zoological Museum. Transactions of the Suffolk Naturalists Society, 22: 6-15.

Harrison, D. L., P. J. J. Bates and J. D. Clayden.1988. Vertebrate fauna (from Sidestrand).  pp.: 178-179. In P. Gibbard and J. A. Zalasiewicz. Pliocene and Middle Pleistocene of East Anglia. A Field Guide.  Quarternary Research Association Pub.

Harrison, D. L., P. J. J. Bates and J. D. Clayden.1988. On the occurrence of Galemys kormosi (Schreuder, 1940) (Insectivora: Desmaninae) in the British Lower Pleistocene. Acta Theriologica 33 (26): 369-378.

Harrison, D. L., P. J. J. Bates and J. D. Clayden.1989. Occurrence of Lemmus kowalskii Carls and Rabeder, 1988 (Rodentia: Microtinae: Lemmus) in the Lower Pleistocene of East Anglia. Acta Theriologica34 (3): 55-65.

Harrison, D. L. and J. D. Clayden. 1993. New records of Beremendia fissidens (Petenyi, 1864) and Sorex minutus Linnaeus, 1766 (Insectivora: Soricidae) from the British Lower and Middle Pleistocene. Cranium jrg.10, No.1: 97-99.

Harrison, D. L., S. A. Parfitt and A. J. Stuart. 2006. Occurrence of Macroneomys brachygnathus Fejfar, 1966 in the British Middle Pleistocene, with a review of the status of Beremendia fissidens (Petenyi, 1864) in Britain (Mammalia, Lipotyphla, Soricidae). Acta zoologica cracoviensia, 49A(1-2): 119-124.