[extract from Lamplugh Geology of the Isle of Man pp377 - 389]

In the above excavations only fragmentary relics of the Irish Elk were discovered; but the study of the old records leaves no doubt that the fine specimens previously obtained from this place were found in the Chara-marl, F, which was much thicker towards the middle of the hollow where the old pit was worked. In later researches carried on by the same Committee at another locality, as presently to be described, a good skeleton of the elk was unearthed. There has been much discussion respecting the age of the elk-bearing deposits in Ireland and their exact relation to the Glacial Period; and as the Irish sections appear to be closely analogous to those of the Isle of Man, the discovery of arctic remains in the above section, in a bed overlying that which yielded the elk, is of wide interest.

We may therefore profitably devote a few pages to the discussion of the previous records of the occurrence of Cervus giganteus in the Isle of Man, and to their comparison with the results of the recent investigations.


Cervus giganteus in the Isle of Man.

Since the discovery of the first nearly complete skeleton of the Irish Elk in a marl-pit near Ballaugh early in the present century [i.e. 19th], the Isle of Man has been recognised in geological literature as one of the typical localities for the occurrence of this animal. Curiously enough this is the only Pleistocene vertebrate yet definitely proved to have existed in the Island, though a drifted fragment of elephant’s tusk has been found at Jurby (p. 423) and another fragment supposed to be a cetacean rib is mentioned by Cumming’ as having been obtained from the drift at Douglas, and there are doubtful records of the red deer and horse (p. 384) and of Bos longifrons (p. 377). The elk-remains have been found in four or five localities only, apparently always in the smaller boggy basins, and never in the broad Curragh although much draining and peat-cutting has been done there.

The earliest reference to these remains which has come under our notice is by J. Feltham in his "Tour through the Isle of Man," published in 1798, where he mentions (p. 205) that bones of "elks, or seghs," found near St. John’s, were shown to him by Rev. Mr. Corlett. "The horns measure 9 feet from tip to tip, and from other bones, conjecture is warranted to suppose the animal must have been 17 feet high." Woods (1811) also records this specimen (p. 13). It must have been an earlier find than the first one mentioned by Mr. P. M. C. Kermode in his recent account of the local history of the subject, which is of a head and antlers "found in a marl pit in the parish of Ballaugh in June, 1815." The latter discovery may be the one mentioned by Train in his "History of the Isle of Man" (1845), who stated, probably incorrectly, however, that the specimen was from "the extensive morass called the Curragh." "Another discovery— the date not recorded—was that of a skeleton found in a marl pit on Ballaterson Mooar, Ballaugh," ~ the head and antlers of which are now in King William’s College at Castletown.

The first scientific reference to these elk-remains appeared in a letter on Phosphate of Iron, by J. Murray, dated May 19th, 1818, which was published in "Annals of Philosophy" for that year (vol. xii., p. 147). Mr. Murray described the occurrence of bones of elk in a bed of shell-marl overlain by peat on the farm of ‘Ballatesin,’ Ballaugh, and of a blue earthy mineral, supposed to be phosphate of iron, on the horns and in the peat-earth. He also stated that chips of flint were found in the marl, a circumstance not mentioned by any later observer.

The more celebrated discovery was made in the adjacent hollow of Loughan Ruy in 1819, of which Henslow gives the following account2 :—" Whilst I was in the island, in August, 1819, two heads with the branches and a vast number of bones were dug up in the finest preservation. An ingenious blacksmith in the neighbourhood, taking the skeleton of a horse for his model, has contrived to put together these bones with great accuracy, and form a skeleton in which the only parts wanting are the half of one hoof and the end bones of the tail. It has a most magnificent appearance, stands 6 feet 6 inches to the top of the back, and 13 feet to the top of the horns." The ‘ingenious blacksmith’ seems however to have used his equine model rather freely, making up from it the parts which were wanting in the elk skeleton.3

When completed, this specimen was exhibited for payment by Kewish on behalf of himself and James Taubman, the tenant of the field, but was then claimed by the Duke of Athol as Lord of the Manor; and, after a law suit, an agreement was made by which the elk came into the Duke’s possession, and was by him presented to the Museum of the University of Edinburgh.’ This skeleton was figured by Cuvier in his "Ossernens Fossiles," (tom. iv., pl. 8, and p. 82), from an engraving transmitted to him by Prof. Jamieson.2 Regarding this figure Dr. Traquair notes (in a letter to Mr. Kermode quoted in a footnote in Yn Lioar Manninagh, vol. iii., pl. viii., p. 397), "I found when I took office in the Museum that the pelvis in the skeleton was that of a common horse, which I accordingly had replaced by the pelvis of a real Irish elk from Ireland. . . . This (Cuvier’s) figure represents the skeleton exactly as it was before I had it altered by replacing the horse pelvis with one of the Irish elk, and giving a proper curve to the vertebral column, which was absolutely straight in the dorsal and lumbar regions."

Henslow gave a description of the section in which the bones were found, which may be tabulated as follows :— At the top; ‘turf and vegetating matter’ - - 1 or 2 feet.

‘A kind of peat, composed of rotten leaves and ~ small branches closely matted together, mixed with sprinkles of sand, and containing a vast number of the exuvia2 of beetles, bees and their nests, crushed together with seed-vessels, rotten, but having their external coating well preserved. . . . In general the hard ~About 1~ feet. wings are the only parts of the beetles which are preserved, and these are in appearance as fresh as on a living insect. Dr. Leach was enabled to identify a few with species at present existing in England.’ )

‘A bed of sand of a light colour’ - - - 6 feet.

The marl . . . . white or greyish, and ~ the fracture resembles that of a highly decomposed peat, converted to a loose earthy calcareous substance, and through it are dispersed in every direction the traces of small branches and roots, which partake of the character of the ~ ~ 0 thickness mass. When dry it does not become indurated, stated. but is easily reduced to a powder between the fingers. Native phosphate of iron, in an earthy and pulverulent state, is sometimes found in contact with the bones.’

The section was again described a few years later by H. R. Oswald, in a letter dated May 29th, 1824, addressed to the Bishop of the Island, which was printed as an appendix to a paper on the discovery of the elk by Dr. S. Hibbert in the "Edinburgh Journal of Science," vol. iii. (1825), p. 28. Oswald gives a rough diagrammatic section across the basin to show the thinning away of the deposits on both sides, of which the following is a copy. The differences between this section and that of Henslow on the one hand, and that exposed in the recent excavation by the British Association Committee on the other, are readily explained by this diagram.


Oswald seems to have been the only observer who had the opportunity to examine the thicker portion of the deposits. He states: "The superficial stratum is peat of excellent quality, light and fibrous, and containing a few trees of bog-timber. It is 6 feet thick in the middle part of the morass, but passes out thin, into a black peaty turf towards the margin." [Compare Bed A. of section on p. 375.] "Between it and the marl, a layer of fine bluish-white earthy sand is interposed, from 2 to 3 feet in thickness." [Compare Beds B, C, D of section on page 375.] "The marl lies at a depth of from 7 to 10 feet at the middle parts of the pit, but, like the peat, becomes thin at the margin, and passes out when within a foot and a half of the black till which forms the surface crust. Nearly one-half of this deposit has been worked during dry seasons, but I have never seen the pit completely drained of its water. According to the calculation of the workmen, the bed of marl in the middle parts of it is from 11 to 14 feet thick, independent of the layers of turf and sand which I have noticed. When the workmen penetrate at any time through the marl the pit is suddenly inundated by water springing up from below, from the sand and gravel which form the subsoil. This marl is highly fibrous, and somewhat laminar in its structure, and when dry is as light and nearly as white as chalk. The shells are delineated white upon a darker ground, and are seen by separating the fibrous layers, but are seldom, if ever, found in their original state. I question much whether shells exist in all parts of the basin, certainly not at its margin." [From this it appears that the conspicuous absence of shells in the marl of the recently-opened section, and from that described by Henslow, is characteristic only of the margin of the hollow.] "In this basin vest quantities of bones of the large species of elk are found. The workmen have constantly met with them since the first opening of the pit, and therefore conclude that an incalculable number still remains. These bones occur at all depths of the marl. At and towards the surface of it the bones, like the shells, are merely delineations of what they once were, with little or no difference in consistence from the mass in which they are contained, and therefore will not bear handling; in the bed of sand above the marl all vestiges of them disappear. The deeper these elks are in the marl the more fresh and perfect they seem, and near the bottom of the bed complete heads are found. They sometimes, though very seldom, are observed imbedded partially in the gravel below. Those in the marl are generally charged with calcareous matter, yet 1 have frequently seen the thick part of the stern of the horns so unchanged as to admit of being worked. The bog-timber is in this instance solely confined to the peat on the surface." [Italics not the author’s.]

Oswald next describes the conditions under which the Edinburgh specimen was obtained and put together. He then notices other "basins of white marl in which no shells now appear. These lie lower down the plain, nearer the deposits of common clay-marl" [glacial clays]. "In one of these basins, distant upwards of a quarter of a mile from that described" [probably that at Ballaterson Mooar, or Dollagh Mooar of Ordnance map, alluded to by Mr. Kermode], "the marl lies at a depth of from 4 to 6 feet only, being covered by a hard, sandy, blackish earth. The field in which it is situated is crusted over with wet soil. Before the surface of this basin was broken up, it had a thin layer of turf upon the middle or deepest part of it, but there is none now to be seen. Between the alluvial covering and the marl there is a bed of dark turfy, fibrous earth, from 2 to 4 inches thick, each horizontal layer showing different degrees of shade. The marl is darkest near the top, continuing thus to a depth of 18 inches. In this upper part of the marl slight veins or rents occur. This marl is also fibrous, and somewhat slaty, and exhibits between its layers white delineations like grass. It likewise contains bones, but they are few in number, and much decayed; of these are pieces of ribs, condyles of bones, and stems of large horns, etc. This deposit of marl, though near the surface, and in a field almost level, is basin shaped, like that last described, varying in depth from 7 to 10 feet in the middle, and passing out to the thinness of a few inches at the margin."

The basin last mentioned is probably that at the margin of which Dr. Hibbert saw a section which he describes’ as showing, at the base, 3 feet of marl mixed with sand and small pebbles of clay-slate and quartz; covered by 1 foot of the same substance mixed with more sand and containing some little vegetable matter; above which was 1 foot of sand mixed with white quartz pebbles; then 6 inches of drift peat, 6 inches of black mould, and over the whole a thinner coat of drift peat.

Dr. Hibbert illustrated his paper by a figure and measurements of a skull and antlers at that time in the possession of Dr. Burman of Douglas (op. cit., P1. II., fig. 1); this specimen, Mr. Kermode thinks, may be the specimen afterwards acquired by J. F. Campbell of Islay; but the measurement of the Islay antlers seems to indicate a smaller example than that figured by Hibbert.’

In another communication on the subject in the same volume (p. 129) Dr. Hibbert suggests, on the authority of Dr. Burman, that a second species, "apparently of the present race of elks which inhabit the north of Europe," occurred in the marl of Ballaugh; but the evidence is altogether insufficient, since the antler figured (P1. II., fig. 3) in support of his view was not the actual horn found at Ballaugh "but that of a recent animal of the same kind from Norway," in Dr. Burman’s possession, which was thought exactly to resemble it, the discoverer of the fossil not being willing to part with it.

Cumming, who found the original sections no longer accessible, was at first of opinion that the elk belonged to the later portion of Post-glacial times,2 but afterwards changed his views, stating that "on closer examination I find good reason for concluding that the white marl [of Ballaugh] is . . perhaps more ancient than the Jurby marl, though this is apparently an alluvium older than the forests of which the remains are found in the Curragh."3

Edward Forbes (who was a Manxman by birth, and spent part of his youth at Ballaugh), in discussing the elk in his classical memoir "On the Geological Relations of the Existing Fauna and Flora of the British Isles," expressly states that the basins of fresh-water marl in which the bones were found were "distinctly, both in the Isle of Man and Ireland, overlaid by the peat, with its ancient included forests," and he illustrated this arrangement by a diagram representing the Ballaugh section.4

Thus these old records show clearly that none of the Ballaugh elk-remains were found in the forest-peat, but all in the lower marl, which was separated from the peat by a bed of sand. Equally clear is it that this sand represents the horizon of the recently discovered Arctic remains of the Loughan Ruy section given on p. 375, as will be recognised on comparing this section with those described by Henslow (p. 379) and Oswald (p. 380).

These Ballaugh hollows are in a porous substratum of gravel, but are close to the margin of the Curragh, and would all be filled with percolating water when that area was a fresh-water lake. Further investigation is required to decide whether the accumulation of marl was stopped in Loughan Ruy by the gradual silting up of the pool, or whether, as has been suggested, it may have ceased upon a change of climatic conditions.5 The sand and gravel overlying the marl were evidently washed in from the margins; and probably in part represent the shore deposits of the pool synchronous with the marl and peat of the middle of basin.

We will now turn to another well-known locality where the elk has been found in the Island. Hibbert (op. cit., p. 17) mentioned that "about a mile to the north-west of the Tynwald Hill, at a short distance from the Peel [Neb] River, there is a low marshy piece of ground from which large quantities of shell marl have been procured, . . . and in this marl numerous bones of the elk have been observed in an imbedded state.

The shell marl . . . is of a milk-white colour, also, when dried, very light and porous. All the shelly portions are in such a comminuted state, and so mixed up with clay and sand, that I could not find a specimen in which the organic structure of the animals to which the marl owes its origin was preserved." [Later researches have shown this to be a ‘charamarl.’] "The bones of the elk are said to be found about 6 to 10 feet deep in this marl, and mixed along with them, particularly in the more superficial strata, are the remains of numerous aquatic plants, as of willows, ferns, reeds, etc., indicative of the ancient marshes which succeeded to the levelling of the land, and to which the elks appear to have resorted. In the upper beds the calcareous matter gradually lessens A stratum of sand, the pure and nearly unmixed debris of the neighbouring hills, is superjacent to the shell-marl, while a comparatively modern bed of peat covers the whole."

Cumming also refers to this locality; ~ and Mr. Kermode had collected information as to specimens found here.2 It was therefore selected as a site for further exploration by the British Association Committee, with the result that a large and nearly perfect skeleton was exhumed in 1897. Through the energy of Mr. Kermode this fine specimen has been carefully restored and mounted, and is now preserved in Castle Rushen at Castletown.

The conditions under which it occurred resemble in most respects those at Ballaugh. An uneven platform of sandy and gravelly glacial deposits, extending inland from Peel to the foot of the mountains (pp. 457-8), is broken towards its southern margin by several little basins. From these basins small valleys lead southward to the broad hollow drained by the Neb between St. John’s and Glenfaba, which has wide gravel terraces on both sides, and appears to have been occupied by a lake in late-glacial times (p .410). The site of the excavation was at the southwestern side of the Close-y-Garey basin, on the eastern side of the railway line 400 yards south-west of the farmstead of Breeky-Broom (6-inch Sh. 9). As reference to the geological one-inch map will show, this little irregular basin, about 200 yards long by 40 to 100 yards wide, is only separated from another somewhat larger depression to the eastward by an esker-like ridge of sand and gravel from 50 to 100 yards wide; and the two are connected at the southern end by an old drainage channel, which is prolonged into a little valley opening southward to the upper gravel platform of the Neb valley near Ballaleece, at an elevation of about 105 feet above O.D. (p. 458). The following passages describing the results of the excavation are quoted (not in their original order) from Mr. Kermode’s Report1:— "About sixty years ago the bog had been worked for marl, and the present well-defined banks mark out a rectangular hollow some 50 yards square and about 3 feet below the surrounding surface. Across one corner of this a trench was dug to carry off the water, and the operations of the Committee were confined to a triangular area on the west side of the trench, measuring about 15 yards east and west, by about 30 yards north and south

The result of all the excavations, allowing for the disturbed state of the ground, showed the following beds :—





Disturbed soil and peat, an average of about




In one place a blue clay or silt was observed resting on the white marl.




White marl containing the Elk remains




Blue marl2 -




Red sand with gravel




Brown clay




Sand and ~ravei} ? Glacial drift:




As stated above, the whole surface had been lowered about 3 feet in digging for mimarl; the peat had for the most part been removed, and a great deal of the marl also; indeed, we were fortunate in finding this one spot in which the marl itself had not been disturbed

The finding of detached bones shows that other individuals had perished here In association with these were remains of horse, represented by a radius and lower jaws of two individuals. Though the ground had been disturbed the horse bones probably belonged to the same age as the elk. A fragment of a metatarsal, met with in digging the trench, had an artificial perforation.

The skeleton lay in white marl at a depth of about 9 feet from the present surface, on its right side, the legs drawn up to the body, the head towards the margin of the ancient pool, now a morass, which lies in a hollow in the glacial drifts.

From the position of the bones the animal appeared to have died where it was found, not to have been washed down by floods

The bones were nearly all in juxtaposition and, excepting the ribs and pelvic bones and one shoulder-blade, in a very fair state of preservation. The antlers were nearly complete; the beams, however, are represented by fragments, the skull also is fragmentary.

The left antler is the larger ; it measures across the palm 15 inches, allowing for a piece of the front edge which has decayed away; the right measures 13 inches. With the tines, most of which dropped off on lifting from the niarl, they are respectively 56~ inches and 53 inches long, and the beam would have been about 10 inches more. They show six points, besides the brow-tines, which had fallen off, the portion of the beam to which they were attached having decayed away.

The palm of the left antler lay over the lumbar vertebrae, and the right over the forequarters. The upper jaw teeth were preserved on both sides, and those of the left lower jaw were embedded in the ramu8. A fragment of the right symphysis was also present, and there were various fragments of a skull which had been broken up before the discovery. Death had occurred in its full prime, as shown by the perfection of the teeth and the dimensions of the antlers.

Among the bones, but not of this individual, was one which had been perforated, probably by the point of an antler of another elk in one of their usual fights. It was fractured as well as perforated, and had been healed.

Samples of the marl and other beds were forwarded to Mr. James Bennie, of Edinburgh, who again most kindly undertook the laborious task of washing and sifting the material. The organic remains thus obtained were examined by Mr. Clement Reid, who has determined the following plants


From Peat B [A I].

Ranuncujus Flamniula, L. Carduus crispus, L.

Viola palustris, L. Menyanthes trifoliata, L.

Rubus fruticosus, L. (very small,). Empetrum nigrum, L.

Potentilla Tormentilla, Neck. Potamogeton, sp.

Comarum, Nesti. Carex, 4 sp.

Also beetles, 3 sp., and caddis cases.


From Marl U.

R%nunculus repens, L. Empetrum nigrum, L.

Viola palustris, L. Potamogeton.

Potentilla Comarum, Nesti. Carex, 4 sp.

Myriophyllum spicatum, L. Chara.

Ilumex obtusifolius, L. Tlinbelliferous plant (unripe).


!?rOm Red Sand E.

Plant remains, not determined.


From Bed F.

Betula alba, 1. Bracts of sedge.

Potamogeton. Leaves. (I)


Mr. R. Okell examined the White Marl for Diatoms, but found no trace. There are no fresh-water shells in it."

Mr. Reid, in reproducing the above lists in his recent work on "The Origin of the British Flora," 1 remarks: "B. is Recent or Neolithic, C. and F. [E. in Mr. Reid’s book] correspond with the marl at Ballaugh, and are classed provisionally as Late Glacial."

It will be noticed that the ‘stratum of sand’ mentioned by Dr. Hibbert as occurring between the marl and the peat was not found in the recent excavation, unless represented by the patch of the blue clay or silt, B., of which, unfortunately, no specimen was preserved. If its absence be not accounted for by the disturbed condition of the upper portion of the section, the bed may possibly have been originally limited to one part of the basin. It was at a corresponding horizon in the Ballaugh section that the Arctic remains were found; so that if the bed could have been examined, it is possible that similar remains knight have been found at Close-y-Garey, since the general similarity between the sections is so close.

Of the other localities in which elk-remains have been found in the Island we have little definite information. Cumming, writing in 1861 ("Guide Book," p. 112), stated that "in the alluvial gravel in the Valley of Glen Mooar [near St. Johns] were discovered, 30 years ago, some fine specimens of the Cervus megaceros," but gives no further details, and may possibly refer to the Close-y-Oaiey finds. He also mentioned ("Isle of Man," p. 56) that some remains of the animal had been turned up in the south, near Castletown, from a whitish marl underneath a patch of turfy ground in a field in the Silverburn valley opposite Creggans; and again (Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc., vol. ii., p. 345) that he obtained the right pelvis of a Megacevos from blue alluvial marl on the Balladoole Estate, at a depth of six feet, the marl being covered by 2 feet of "marine sand." In the same neighbourhood, it is recorded by Mr. J. M. Jeffcott 1 that fragments of an antler of the elk were found in time peat on the beach at Strandhall, probably the specimen now in the possession of Mr. J. M. Gawne (see p. 414); and Dr. Clague, of Castletowim, possesses an antler from Kcntraugh.2 In the north of the Island, at Ballaiheaney near Andreas, an antler was dug up from a bed of peat covered with sandy wash, at a depth of 4 feet (p. 436).

In reviewing the above evidence, we find that wherever the details of the sections are known, the elk-remains have teen obtained from the lowermost portion of the alluvial deposits, and from beds which contain the first indications of organic life after the emergence of the land from under the ice-sheet In this respect the Manx evidence is in full accord with what is known of the principal occurrences of the elk in Ireland. Indeed the similarity of the Loughan-ruy and Close-y-Garey basins to the best-known Irish sites is remarkably close, both in topographical situation and in the general sequence of the deposits; as will be seen on comparing the sections given above with that of the Bailey betagh Bog, 9 miles south-east of Dublin, described by Mr. W. Williams ~ as a typical Irish locality; or with the generalised Irish section reproduced in a recent number of the Geological Magazine ~ from Mr. J. G. Millais’ book on "British Deer." In Ireland as in the Isle of Man, the elk-remains are embedded in marl at the bottom of hollows in the drift; the marl is covered by clayey, silty, or gravelly wash; and this again by peat, sometimes containing trees~ Moreover, in both districts the marl is a Chara-marl; and in regard to this, Mr. C. Reid has made the following apposite suggestion :—" Those familiar with the pools containing (ihara will be well aware of the appearance of shallowness and of a solid floor, which is so deceptive. The Uhara and Potarnogctom may grow from a depth of several feet, but they often appear to form a carpet of bright green turf a few inches under the surface of the clear water. Any animal treading on this turf would immediately plunge head-foremost into the water, and the wide-branching antlers of Cervus megaceros would become entangled amid the Chara stems, and still tougher Pondweeds, so that the animal would have scarcely a chance of escape."

The plant-remains found in the Irish marl are most, if not all, species which occur also in the Manx deposits; Mr. Reid remarks that they are "all of wide range, and throw no light on the climatic conditions that held during the Megaceros period." Arctic remains corresponding to those of the Isle of Man have not yet been found in Ireland, probably, as Mr. Bonnie suggests,2 because proper search has still to be made. Mr. Williams is of opinion that the elk-mans were accumulated in Ireland during a mild and genial interlude which followed the cold wet climate of the great thaw, and was succeeded by a return of glacial conditions, "the cold of this period having probably exterminated the Megaceros in Ireland."5 In the last (third) edition of his "Great Ice Age," Prof. James Geikie to some extent endorses this view, and after discussing the evidence concludes,— "it seems to me probable that the Megaceros-beds may be of interglacial age—that, in short, they may occupy the horizon of the interglacial deposits of the Baltic coast-lands." Mr. Reid in his report on the plant-remains from Ballaugh has the following pertinent remark -—" It is important to ascertain whether there is any evidence in the Isle of Man of a mild period after the melting of the ice, and before the deposition of the bed with Arctic willows. If the shell-marl (F) containing the Megageros remains was formed during a mild interval, the complete disappearance of the Irish elk, so difficult to understand, may be due to cold or to scarcity of food during a less genial period. This point has never been cleared up in Ireland, notwithstanding the numerous remains of the Irish elk that have there been obtained."5

In view of such evidence as that recently obtained at Hoxne and other places6 for wide-reaching alternations of climate since the departure of the last great ice-sheet, it would be rash to deny the possibility of the Megaceros-marl being the product ~f a genial interval between two cold periods; but so far as the Manx evidence alone is concerned, there appears to be no necessity for the theory of alternating climates, as all the known facts seem consistent with a regular amelioration of temperature, such as might accompany the gradual disappearance of an ice-sheet.

For reasons which are discussed on a subsequent page (p. 396) it is probable that a great amelioration of climate had come about before the Island was uncovered by the waning glacier, and that the conditions were favourable to the growth even of com~aratively temperate-climate plants as soon as ever these could find footing on the ellierging land-surface.

Hence by the time that the ice had sunk to the foot of the hills the land was probably clad with verdure, and offered tempting pasturage for the great elks, just as the Barren Lands of Northern Canada and the tundras of Northern Siberia, under somewhat similar conditions, at present constitute the favourite feeding-ground of its living analogues. The flora, as Mr. Reid notes, consisting almost entirely of a few common species of wide range, is exactly the vegetation which we should look for to the first established in such an area; and its dispersal could scarcely fail to be assisted by hairy migratory animals like the elk. If there had been forest growth at the time we should not have failed to find trace of it in the marl, where its absence is conspicuous. Indeed, one can scarcely imagine the elk to have originally developed such wide-spreading antlers in a forested country, though the species, elsewhere originated, might manage to survive for a time among forests. The little Arctic crustacean and the Arctic plants were probably contemporaneous with the elk, and are indications of the proximity of the ice-margin when the animal first reached the area. It is true that only a single example of the crustacean and none of the Arctic plants have yet been found in the marl with the elk; but this is probably an accident of preservation, as seeds only have endured in this material, and the Arctic willow is represented by leaves alone in the overlying bed. The relationship of the sandy beds to the marl in these little basins seems to be that of shore deposits to deeper water sediments, their accumulation going on contemporaneously, but the former gradually overspreading the latter as the pond contracted and grew shallow.

It seems reasonable to believe, as elsewhere suggested (pp. 397—8), that the elk, possessing the instincts of its living representatives, may have reached the Island, and Ireland also, across icefields when a remnant of the great glacier still occupied the sea-basin; and it may never have been a permanent resident, but only a migratory visitor. The animal may have lingered on into the age of forests, when the principal peat bogs of the Island were accumulated; but for this there is at present no positive evidence.

Our enquiry, therefore, leads us to time conclusion that Gervus giganteus in the Isle of Man must be regarded either as a Late-glacial or early Post-glacial inhabitant according to the limits, in any case arbitrary, which we may assign to the Glacial Period.


1 Isle of Man, p. 360.

2 P. M. C. Kermode. Yn Lioar Manninagh, vol. iii., pt. viii., p. 395.

3 Trans. Geol. Soc., vol. v. (1821), p. 502, footnote. Short notices of this discovery were also given anonymously in the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal for 1821, vol. v., p. 227, and for 1823, vol. viii., p. 198.

4 Kermode, op. cit., p. 397.

5 Kermode, op. cit., p. 398, and Yn Lioar, vol. i., No. 1, pp. 23-4,

6 Cumming, Isle of Man, p. 214.

7 Edinburgh Journal of Science, vol. iii. (1825), p. 27.

8 Yn Lioar Manninagh, op. cit., p. 398.

9 Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc., vol. ii. (~846), p. 344.

10 "Isle of Man" (1848), p. 216, foot-note.

11 Memoirs of the Geological Survey, vol. i. (1846), p. 394.

12 ‘ See Report of Irish Elk Committee, British Assoc. Rep. for 1897, p. 347.

13 "Isle of Man," p. 182.

14‘ Yn Lioar," op. cit. p. 399.

15 British Assoc. Rep. for 1898 (Bristol), pp. 548-551. The report contains full measurements of all the bones of the skeleton by Professor W. Boyd Dawkins.

16 "This was noticed below the skeleton, and may have been discoloured by the decay of the body."

17 Dulau and Co., London (8vo.): 1899.

18 Yn Lioar Manninagh, vol. i, pt. 2, p. 56.

19 Kermode do. vol. iii., p. 400.

20 0mm the ;evidence of JJeqaceios IIi/emn~icus in the ancient lacustrrne deposits in Ireland," (icol. Mag. (new ser.), dec. ii., vol. viii. (~881), pp 354-363.

21 Geol. Mag., n s, dec iv., vol v. (1895), p. 133 (review of "British Deer’ and their Horns" by J. U. Millais,.

22 "The origin of Megaceros-marl," "Irish Naturalist," May, 1895.

23 "Irish Naturalist," April, 1894.

24 op. cit., p. 362.

25 "Great Ice Age," 3rd ed., p. 417.

26 British Assoc. Rep. for 1897 (Toronto), p. 348.

27See C. Reid. "Rep. British Assoc. for 1896, pp. 400-415; also " Origin of the British Flora." Lond. 1899.


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