This video says about itself:
22 May 2018
This 2012 video from Germany is called White Stork on the nest (Ciconia ciconia).
From the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft in Germany:
May 24, 2018
For little Louis, it is the most exciting day of his life: just six or seven weeks ago, the young stork came into the world on a birch tree in Radolfzell on Lake Constance. Up to this day in June 2014, he has only known his parents and three siblings. But suddenly strange beings have appeared at the nest and are holding the four small white storks captive. They are Andrea Flack and Wolfgang Fiedler of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and the University of Konstanz. In the coming years, the scientists will learn from Louis and other young storks that, on their migrations south, storks follow other storks who are particularly good at exploiting thermals, allowing them to flap their wings as little as possible as they fly. The efficient fliers migrate to West Africa, while the others spend the winter in southern Europe. From their data, the researchers can tell which storks will fly where just ten minutes after the birds take off.
For days, Andrea Flack and Wolfgang Fiedler have been visiting storks’ nests on the western shore of Lake Constance. The aerial ladder of the fire brigade raises them to the stork nests at lofty heights so that they can strap small tracking devices onto the backs of the nestlings. The aim is to follow Louis and 60 other young storks on their migration. The instruments, which weigh less than 60 grams, record the GPS coordinates of the birds’ location. They also measure the animals’ movements using accelometers. This allows the researchers to determine whether and, if so, how the birds are moving.
For Louis and his nest mates, the harmless procedure is over in just a few minutes. Fully engaged in perfecting their flying skills, it is likely that they very soon forget the strange encounter with the scientists. For the researchers, however, the work has only just begun. From now on, they will collect and evaluate huge volumes of data, because the tracking devices log the storks’ GPS coordinates every second for two to five minutes every 15 minutes, and this for weeks. Once a day, the devices send a text message containing the location and movement data via the local mobile network, just like a mobile phone.
The data then flow automatically into an online database called Movebank, a free-to-use online platform developed by researchers led by Martin Wikelski, which allows scientists to log animal migrations anywhere in the world. Because the storks around Lake Constance fly all the way to West Africa for the winter, the mobile network costs would be enormous, given the immense volumes data involved. Andrea Flack therefore follows the birds by car all the way down to Barcelona to download the data once a day using a base station. In Africa, the devices log data at longer intervals to reduce the amount of data generated.
A mobile phone for storks
Louis, too, was fitted with his “mobile phone” on that day four years ago. As it turned out, he was the first among his nest mates to travel south. He joined a group of 27 other tagged storks. After five days of flying, 17 of them were still together.
Louis first skirted the Alps past Bern towards Lake Geneva and crossed the Rhone south of Lyon. On the evening of 23 August, he reached Montpellier on the French Mediterranean coast and then on the following day flew along the coast towards Spain. He crossed the Pyrenees and spent several weeks on a landfill site a hundred kilometres northwest of Barcelona. He then flew to an area around Madrid and spent the winter there at a landfill. He remained in Spain until the spring of 2016 and returned to Germany in March 2016.
Searching for thermals
Never before have researchers tracked a group flight of storks as meticulously as Louis and his peers. The scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and the University of Konstanz have now published the results of Louis’ and his peers’ voyage. The data from the thousand-kilometre stage show how a bird’s flight performance, social behaviour and global migratory route are interlinked.
Thanks to a sophisticated analysis of the GPS data, the scientists have found that there are leader birds within groups of migrating storks. They lead the group to areas with favourable thermals, where the birds are literally sucked up by the rising warm air. This allows them to glide farther and avoid active flapping flight to save energy.
Efficient flyers lead the way
Detailed analysis of the high-resolution GPS data shows that the flight paths of the leader birds are more irregular. “They are the ones who locate the thermals and search out the most favourable areas within them. “As a result, they have to adjust their flight paths repeatedly”, explains Máté Nagy, who analyzed the data from the trackers. The follower birds benefit from the leaders’ explorations and can soar upward in more regular trajectories. “When travelling to the next thermal, follower birds are a bit slower and lose altitude faster. To avoid falling behind the group, they must flap their wings more and leave the thermals before reaching the top.”
However, a stork’s flying skill is not only linked to its position within the group. How much it flaps its wings also predicts where it will spend the winter. Animals that flap their wings a lot do not fly as far as those that flap less. Louis, for example, is a rather mediocre flyer. For him, it is better to spend the winter in southern Spain, especially since he can find enough food at the landfill site there.
Tour group with social structure
The situation is entirely different for Redrunner, another individual of the 27 tagged storks. He is one of the leaders of his group, and, therefore, manages to minimize his wing beats. He overwinters in North Africa. While Louis covered more than 1000 kilometres on his 2014 journey, Redrunner covered nearly 4000 kilometres. “The flight characteristics are so central to the birds’ position within the group that we can predict just after a few minutes of migration flight whether it will spend the winter in Europe or fly on to West Africa,” explains Andrea Flack.
This is the first time that humans have been able to observe the group behaviour of storks on their journey across Europe to Africa in such detail. The collected data show that storks fly in socially structured groups, which are largely determined by the flying skills of the group members. “A stork’s route and destination depend, among other things, on how efficiently it can fly,” says Martin Wikelski, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and Honorary Professor at the University of Konstanz.
Back in Germany
Since then, Louis und Redrunner have repeated their journey every year — and always with the same destination: Louis has remained faithful to Spain and Redrunner to Africa. This year, Louis arrived in Germany on 9 March. Since then, he has stayed in Neudingen near Donaueschingen and has built a nest with a partner on the local town hall. Redrunner also returned from Africa a few weeks ago. He has taken up residence in the town of Münzenberg between Frankfurt and Giessen.
Now four years old, they have both survived the most dangerous phase of their lives, as 75 percent of young storks die in the first year. Now they are past puberty and may breed this year for the first time. If the two storks continue to successfully avoid all dangers, it is likely they will have a long life and will continue to make their long journey for the next 30 years.
Assuming that the two are still migrating, the researchers will no longer have to follow them in a car. The Icarus Initiative launched by Martin Wikelski will be launched in August, after which the tracking devices will transmit their data to scientists around the world via the International Space Station. Researchers will then be able to track the birds around the clock in real time.
This is a 2015 Heineken corporation advertisement video using girls to sell beer. Advertisements being advertisements, everything seems OK and free from coercion …
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
ASN Bank will discontinue having Heineken shares in its sustainable equity fund. The bank reacts to earlier disclosures that Heineken promotional girls in Africa have been forced to have sex when getting contracts.
In the book Heineken in Africa, published earlier this year, author Olivier van Beemen describes that these so-called promotional girls are regularly harassed sexually. In some cases they have been pressured to have sex with senior officials of Heineken’s customers.
ASN has held discussions about this with Heineken. However, the bank currently sees too little change in the situation. That is why Heineken has now been removed from the sustainable share fund. …
At the last shareholders’ meeting earlier this year Heineken CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer announced that the brewing corporation is conducting an internal investigation into the undesirable use of promotional girls in fourteen African countries. The big boss also admitted that in his twenties he had an affair with such a girl.
From the University of Konstanz in Germany:
Brood parasitism in fish
May 9, 2018
There are other animals besides the cuckoo who smuggle their offspring into another animal’s nest. The Synodontis multipunctatus, which occurs in Lake Tanganyika in Africa and is better known as cuckoo catfish, is just as cunning as the cuckoo is. Just like the bird, this savvy parasite manages to place its eggs among those of cichlids. To protect their eggs, cichlids carry them in their mouths. This can be fatal for the cichlids’ own offspring if cuckoo catfish eggs are among them. Professor Axel Meyer, an evolutionary biologist from the University of Konstanz, and a team of researchers from the Institute of Vertebrate Biology in Brno (Czech Republic) have carried out research into the evolutionary strategies employed by cuckoo catfish and various types of cichlids that occur in Lake Tanganyika and several other African lakes. Their study paints a fascinating picture of evolutionarily shaped and individually learned defence behaviour as well as the deception efforts employed by both species of fish — and the high price that cichlids pay for keeping the illegitimate offspring of the cuckoo catfish away from their own eggs. The research findings were published in the Science Advances issue published on 2 May 2018.
Lake Tanganyika in Africa is famous for its biodiversity. Many of its 250 endemic species of cichlids are mouthbreeders: To protect their offspring and prevent other fish from devouring it, cichlids carry and breed their eggs in their mouths. For several weeks after hatching and swimming by themselves, the young fish return to their mother’s mouth for protection.
It is this very particular brood care behaviour that the cuckoo catfish, also endemic to Lake Tanganyika, has learned to exploit: When the cichlids spawn, it simply places its own eggs among a cichlid’s clutch of eggs. If this goes unnoticed by the cichlid and if it cannot tell its own eggs apart from those of the catfish, it will carry and breed both its own and the catfish eggs in its mouth. However, the larvae of the cuckoo catfish hatch sooner, devouring the cichlid’s own offspring which the deceived mother cichlid believes to be safe. Often, the cichlid will believe the illegitimate offspring of the catfish to be her own even then, continuing to protect it.
But the cichlids are not entirely defenceless: They have learned to defend themselves against the cunning of the cuckoo catfish. When gathering their eggs into their mouth, they try to identify and exclude the smuggled eggs. Often, however, overcaution will lead them to reject some of their own eggs as well. A high price that the cichlids pay in return for their own “evolutionary fitness,” a price, however, they cannot avoid paying if their offspring is to survive.
“Both species of fish have co-evolved for millions of years,” says Axel Meyer about their well-matched relationship of deception and defence. The behaviour of these two species is evidence of what the biologist calls “evolutionary experience”, which he was able to document in his joint study with his colleagues from Brno.
The scientists obtained eggs both from the cuckoo catfish and from the mouthbreeding cichlids that live in Lake Tanganyika and raised them in an aquarium. Then, they compared the captive cichlids’ capacity for distinguishing between their own eggs and those of the cuckoo catfish with that of other types of cichlid from other bodies of water where cuckoo catfish do not occur. The result: The deceptive strategy employed by the cuckoo catfish worked between three and eleven times better on the “evolutionarily naive” cichlids (from other bodies of water). Due to their “evolutionary experience,” the cichlids from Lake Tanganyika, who share an evolutionary history with the cuckoo catfish, were much more successful in identifying and rejecting the parasite’s eggs. By the term “evolutionary experience” the scientists mean natural selection in favour of the ability to discriminate smuggled eggs.
Individual learning works in co-evolved fish, but on “evolutionarily naïve” species
The study also revealed that cichlids lacking “evolutionary experience” are unable to learn to reject the eggs of the cuckoo catfish — in contrast to coevolved cichlids that increase their chances to see through the cuckoo catfish trick. This ability to adapt made the cichlids from Lake Tanganyika much more successful when coping with brood parasites. These findings suggest that is not the combination of “evolutionary experience” with individual experience and the ability to learn that help cichlids discriminate between their own and foreign eggs.
Unique among fish
Several bird species are known to practice brood parasitism, i.e. the smuggling of eggs into another bird’s nest. Among fish, the cuckoo catfish is the only known obligate brood parasite. None of the other 40 catfish species endemic to Lake Tanganyika are known to behave like this.
This 2013 video says about itself:
The Dzanga Bai, a small clearing in the Central African Republic, is a unique haven for endangered forest elephants. As many as 200 at a time will gather in this open area to eat minerals found in the soil. The Bai is part of the protected Dzanga-Ndoki National Park, but poachers recently entered the park killing more than two dozen elephants. This video shows elephants enjoying the Bai and reveals efforts to again make it a safe haven for the African forest elephant, a species whose numbers have been reduced by more than 60% in the past decade.
Protect forest elephants to conserve ecosystems, not DNA
April 25, 2018
Although it is erroneously treated as a subspecies, the dwindling African forest elephant is a genetically distinct species. New University of Illinois research has found that forest elephant populations across Central Africa are genetically quite similar to one another. Conserving this critically endangered species across its range is crucial to preserving local plant diversity in Central and West African Afrotropical forests — meaning conservationists could save many species by protecting one.
“Forest elephants are the heart of these ecosystems — without them, the system falls apart, and many other species are jeopardized”, said the principal investigator of this research, Alfred Roca, a professor of animal sciences at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology and College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES).
African forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) are morphologically and genetically distinct from their iconic larger cousins, the African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) that populate the grasslands of Eastern and Southern Africa. Forest elephants are smaller with straighter tusks and live in the rainforests of Central and West Africa where they maintain tropical ecosystems through seed dispersal and germination, as well as nutrient recycling and herbivory.
Published in Ecology and Evolution, this recent study analyzed the nuclear DNA of 94 forest elephants from six locations. Forest elephant nuclear DNA is genetically diverse, yet this diversity is consistent across populations throughout Central Africa — any differences are too small to warrant treating them as distinct subspecies.
This nuclear DNA lacks the geographic patterns preserved in forest elephants’ mitochondrial DNA, the small proportion of the genome that is passed down only from mothers to their offspring. The mitochondrial DNA suggests that five genetically distinct populations existed in the past, most likely due to the Ice Age when their habitat was greatly restricted.
“Forest elephant’s seemingly discordant DNA can be easily explained by their behavior”, said lead author Yasuko Ishida, a research scientist in ACES. “Their mitochondrial DNA is a relic preserved by their matriarchal society.”
Females live together in matrilineal family groups, a herd is made up of related females who share the same mitochondrial DNA. Nuclear DNA diversity is controlled by the largest, mature males who travel long distances and promote gene flow by mating with distant females. Thus, females ensure mitochondrial DNA persists in local populations, while males ensure that the nuclear DNA is shared across populations.
“However, all of this precious DNA may soon be eradicated as forest elephants face extinction due to poaching and habitat loss”, Roca said. “Between 2002 and 2011, poachers wiped out more than half of their population. Fewer than 100,000 forest elephants are estimated to remain today — we must act swiftly to preserve them, and by extension, their habitats.”
Mass murderers drinking beer: Heineken brews turbid drinks in Africa
During the genocide in Rwanda the local Heineken brewery kept brewing cheerfully, and murderous soldiers day after day enjoyed the beer bottles, which are extra large in Africa. It is just one of numerous revelations from the book Beer for Africa about Heineken’s African business by journalist Olivier van Beemen.
by David Bremmer
After Heineken in Africa in 2015, investigative journalist Olivier van Beemen (38) received so many new tips that there is now a sequel, which will also be published in English and French translation this autumn. ,,My first book was incomplete considering what I know today. The new book contains twice as much information, but is half the size.”
What is special is that Heineken, which has its annual shareholders’ meeting today, is fully cooperating this time. Even CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer, in the 1990’s general director in Congo, gave an interview. “It is trendy for companies to open their doors and be transparent”, explains Van Beemen.
Heineken probably regrets that, because Van Beemen’s’ second book, Bier voor Afrika, is much more explosive than the first. Chapter after chapter he opens a cesspool of corruption, sex and relationships with dubious murderous regimes. In this way he debunks the reputation as an ethical business that Heineken is so keen to propagate.
How does a correspondent for France get involved in Heineken’s African business?
,,I was for the Financieele Dagblad daily in Francophone Tunisia when dictator Ben Ali fell and the Arab Spring broke out. I discovered how big Heineken was in Africa and how they worked closely together in Tunisia with the clan of Ben Ali‘s wife Leïla Trabelsi. That’s how it went. ”
“Heineken presents itself as a benefactor in a sea of poverty. They say: as a principled multinational corporation you can do business ethically and you do not have to participate in corruption.”
There is a different story in your book.
“If you zoom in, then little remains. Heineken boasts about all jobs they say that they create in Africa, but uses inflated figures. Their stated aim to buy sixty percent of the raw materials locally is far from being achieved. They buy even less locally than when they started, and they also count barley that travels thousands of miles before it disappears into the brewing kettles. Yet they receive subsidies from the Netherlands and the UN.”
Actually, those are innocent details …
“Heineken also has beer promotion girls in Africa, probably thousands, some of whom are sexually abused. They often have to go to bed with managers to keep their jobs. Abuses have been known for twenty years, but Heineken is not doing much. Yes, they rented taxi buses for a short time to bring the women home. Only that turned out to be too expensive and it was reversed. ”
It is shocking that Heineken’s local brewery continued to flourish during the mass murder in Rwanda.
“Heineken admits that Hutu murderers drank their Primus beer during the slaughter and that they knew it. Every day soldiers received a beer ration. But the company now claims that they had lost control of the brewery. It had supposedly been taken over by radicalized staff members. Van Boxmeer started this story himself without me asking. While nobody mentioned that before during my conversations in Africa. Even the director for Africa at the time says it is not true.”
In the Congo, President Kabila stayed on domestic journeys in the villa of Heineken’s Bralima subsidiary.
“A smart strategy, because by providing free accommodation Heineken ensures access to the highest circles. That is gold in case of problems. Any Heineken manager always has the phone numbers of both those in power and the local police commissioner at hand.”
A remarkable fact is that beer bottles in Africa contain twice as much beer as in Europe.
“In South Africa and some other countries it is even 75 centiliters, the same as a bottle of wine. At Heineken they tell us that Africans are social beings who traditionally like to share beer.”
That is not true?
“Perhaps that is historically correct, but I have never seen one African share his beer. It is meant to encourage customers to drink as much as possible. Did you know that Heineken sometimes also contributes to the national alcohol policy of countries where it is active? There are hardly any rules.”
Some revelations from Beer for Africa:
–Heineken uses beer promotion girls in at least ten African countries, including Nigeria. Many of those women are sexually abused during work. Also, some have to go to bed with executives to keep their jobs. The salaries are so low that part of them have to work as prostitutes as well.
-A former senior director in Africa sent women on whom he had set his sights first through the medical service. For an AIDS test.
-Heineken admits that its own beer played a role in the Rwandan genocide, which killed at least 800,000 people. Many soldiers were drunk and Heineken had the monopoly on the beer market. The brewer claims they has lost control of the brewery to radicalized employees.
– Big boss Nico Vervelde became involved in a large-scale corruption case last year in Nigeria, with his wife as the center. He risked three to seven years in prison because of abuse of power. Heineken arranged the case and Vervelde was offered a new job in Singapore.
-In Congo, Heineken signed an agreement with rebel movement RCD-Kisangani in 2003. The brewer promised to generate as much tax revenue as possible and in turn got permission for a mass layoff of workers. in that way, a movement was financed that murdered and raped on a large scale.
-Heineken is officially headed in Burundi by one of the most important judges of the country. He strongly advocates ethnic lists because he thinks that Tutsis dominate the company. Because of excise payments, Heineken is the most important source of income and support of the regime in Bujumbura.
Your book gets little publicity given all the striking facts. No TV talk show invited you, even your old employer FD does not write anything.
,,That is probably the magic of Heineken. Many Dutch people are proud of the VOC [Dutch East India Company, colonialists and traders of the 17th-18th centuries] mentality and believe that you will spoil the party if you are critical of national pride. Shell is a corporation about which people know how filthy it is, but one is supposed to keep one’s hands off Heineken.”
Does being bored of hearing about Africa play a role?
“Certainly, but Heineken also has a well-oiled marketing machine. They like to profile themselves as world improvers and their audience swallows that uncritically: NGOs like working with Heineken, for example in the fight against AIDS and agricultural projects. They contribute to the image of Heineken as a benefactor instead of a company that soils its hands. ”
The Dutch government actively contributes to that image.
“Ex-minister Ploumen was one of the biggest fans and ran to a Heineken brewery on every Africa visit. Prime Minister Rutte praises Heineken’s agricultural projects at the UN in New York, Queen Maxima praises the work with local farmers in Ethiopia.”
The question you raise is: can a Western multinational do business in Africa?
,,I think it is possible in most countries, but in some countries you have to wonder if you do not contribute to human rights violations. What I blame Heineken for is that they do not ask themselves that question at all. They unconditionally believe in the frame they created themselves of a company that does great work for Africa under difficult circumstances.”
Can such an understanding be expected of a commercial company?
,,It is already a big step when companies are open and honest. Admit that Africa is a lucrative market and acknowledge that the local population does not benefit from it. Stop that rhetoric about win-win situations. And acknowledge that you have to make soiled hands in many countries. Then a more realistic image is created.”
Should Heineken have withdrawn from Africa?
“In individual countries they should consider it. Burundi would be a good example: that is Africa’s second-poorest country, Heineken is keeping a dictator in the saddle and paying by means of excise duty the soldiers and policemen who oppress their own population. In Rwanda, Heineken should have done everything to stop production during the genocide. ”
Heineken is now under scrutiny because of your book.
“The biggest fear of any company is that its name is dragged through the mud on the basis of solid research. Donor organization Global Fund, which combats diseases such as Aids and malaria with the support of the Gates Foundation, suspended their partnership with Heineken because of my research. ”
“Perhaps ASN Bank will no longer decide to see Heineken as a sustainable investment. They had already started an investigation twice, but then limited themselves to an interview with Heineken.
Furthermore, a motion from the VVD party [in the Dutch parliament] was adopted almost unanimously. Minister Kaag is called on to see if she can get back the state subsidies that Heineken received in Africa because of the excesses with the beer girls.”
The arrival of French and English translations should worry Heineken headquarters.
“Heineken is the Coca Cola of beer, the world’s most international beer brand. That attracts attention. And Heineken is extra vulnerable because the company name coincides with the brand name. If there is bad AB Inbev news, then people will not drink less Jupiler or Budweiser.”
How did Heineken react to your book?
“They deny very little, but say that I take issues out of context. I also noticed that they always come up with a different term for me. In the beginning I was a sensationalist, then an individual with an opinion, then a stakeholder and now I am an activist again.”
Is Heineken finally free from you after two books?
,,I am working on a thesis at the department of political science at the University of Amsterdam, but in principle it has been enough. What I will do next, I do not know. I regularly get the suggestion to dive into Unilever, but I do not want to repeat the same trick.”
This 2016 video is called Monsters and Dinosaurs | Triassic | Age of Dinosaur | Documentary Film HD.
From the University of Washington in the USA:
March 28, 2018
Summary: A project spanning countries, years and institutions has attempted to reconstruct what the southern end of the world looked like during the Triassic period, 252 to 199 million years ago.
After a great mass extinction shook the world about 252 million years ago, animal life outside of the ocean began to take hold. The earliest mammals entered the scene, and reptiles — including early dinosaurs — lived on Pangea, the name given to the giant landmass in which all of the world’s continents were joined as one.
A project spanning countries, years and institutions has attempted to reconstruct what the southern end of this world looked like during this period, known as the Triassic (252 to 199 million years ago). Led by paleontologists and geologists at the University of Washington, the team has uncovered new fossils in Zambia and Tanzania, examined previously collected fossils and analyzed specimens in museums around the world in an attempt to understand life in the Triassic across different geographic areas.
Findings from the past decade of fieldwork and analysis are reported in a publication of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, appearing online March 28. In total, 13 research papers detailing new fossils, geologic discoveries and ecological findings in the Triassic make up the society’s 2018 special-edition volume, published once a year in a competitive submission process.
“Most of what we know about the major mass extinction is from the South African Karoo Basin. I was always interested in understanding, do we see the exact same pattern around the world, or do we not?” said co-editor Christian Sidor, a UW biology professor and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.
“The fossil record can be great to understand timing and sequence, but not always great at looking at things in a geographic context.”
Since 2007, Sidor and his team of students, postdoctoral researchers, paleontologists and geologists have visited the Ruhuhu Basin of Tanzania five times and the Luangwa and mid-Zambezi basins of Zambia four times. They lived there for about a month at a time, often hiking for miles to find fossil sites and camping in villages and national parks. Once, they were even awakened by the stomping and calls of elephants only feet from their camp.
Each site in Tanzania and Zambia contains its own collection of fossils from the Triassic and other periods, but the goal of this decade-long project was to look across locations hundreds and thousands of miles apart to find similarities in the fossil records. Two papers describe the regional patterns and similarities across much of what used to be Pangea.
“These papers highlight what a regional perspective we now have — we have the same fossils from Tanzania, Antarctica, Namibia and more”, Sidor said. “We’re getting a much better Southern Hemisphere perspective of what’s going on in the Triassic.”
Most of the papers in the special edition discuss new fossil findings from the paleontological digs. One explains the discovery of a new species of lizard-like reptile called a procolophonid. Another details Teleocrater, an early dinosaur relative that walked on four crocodile-like legs. This finding was reported in Nature last year, but the new paper describes the animal’s anatomy in fuller detail.
Most of the remaining papers describe other animals that were present in the Triassic besides the early dinosaurs.
“This was a time when dinosaurs were just stepping onto the stage, and they were not very big and not very remarkable animals then”, Sidor said. “These papers really round out what dinosaurs were competing with before they became the dominant reptiles on land.”
In addition to the 13 papers that make up the special edition, the team has published 24 peer-reviewed papers as part of this project in the past decade.
More than 2,200 fossils were collected across Tanzania and Zambia over the last decade of fieldwork. Of the special edition’s 27 authors, many participated in fieldwork with Sidor since 2007, including co-editor Sterling Nesbitt, a former postdoctoral researcher at the UW and now an assistant professor at Virginia Tech.
Fossil hunting is an experience every member of Sidor’s lab can have, from undergraduates through postdoctoral researchers. Sidor and a team are going again this August.
“This has been what my lab has done, and all of my students have been involved in some way,” he said. Four of Sidor’s students and two postdoctoral researchers are co-authors of papers in the new special edition.