As part of a research project on medieval whaling activities in the Netherlands and Flanders, Belgium, Zooarchaeology by Mass-Spectrometry (ZooMS) was performed on 40 medieval archaeological “cetacean” specimens from those regions in order to find out what species the specimens represented. Interestingly, a specimen from the early medieval site of Leiderdorp-Plantage was identified as belonging to a member of the Elephantidae family.
An annotated, amended and revised list of 18th century sperm whale stranding records from the North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat coasts: A ‘retro-cetological’ approach using searchable digitised newspapers
Searchable digitised newspapers, consulted to detect information on 18th century sperm whale strandings, revealed several hitherto overlooked records for the British (16), Dutch (1), Danish (1) and Norwegian (1) sections of the North Sea coastline as well as further details on already documented records and verified the species assignment of earlier only insufficiently documented records. A revised list of records is provided.
Fatal attraction: The death of a solitary-sociable bottlenose dolphin due to anthropogenic trauma in the Netherlands
The death and behaviour prior to death of a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) known by the name of “Zafar” created significant national and international public interest. The animal was first observed in the Netherlands on the 2nd of May 2020, closely following a boat from Brittany, France, all the way into the port of Amsterdam after passing the locks at IJmuiden. After a day of residency in the industrial port of Amsterdam, the animal was successfully lured back into the North Sea.
The simplex and other forms of the upper third molar (M3) in the common vole (Microtus arvalis) in Zeeland, the Netherlands
The frequencies of the various forms of M3 (simplex, transient and normal) in common (Microtus arvalis) voles were determined in different regions (all former islands) in the province of Zeeland, the Netherlands. A possible higher incidence of left-sidedness of simplex and transient M3 forms was also investigated. The frequency of simplex forms of M3 has not apparently been studied in any other part of the Netherlands, except for the north. Common vole specimens (1254 skulls) from owl pellets that were collected between 1995 and 2010 were studied.
No place to hide: Limited forest cover hampers the availability of suitable habitat for lynx in the Netherlands
In Europe, centuries-long of overharvesting and hunting of large herbivores and carnivores has resulted in extinctions of large mammals, such as the lynx (Lynx lynx). With the expansion of lynx distributions via recolonisation and reintroduction programmes, it is possible that the lynx will again recolonise the Netherlands. This study identified the most important predictors for lynx habitat suitability in the Netherlands and areas in the Netherlands where the ecological requirements of the lynx are met.
Boekrecensie: De zee-eenhoorn in kaart gebracht. Zee-eenhoorns in woord en beeld in de middeleeuwen en vroegmoderne tijd. M.M. Zijlstra-Mondt 2019. Proefschrift. Universiteit Leiden. 369 pagina’s. ISBN 978-94-6332-431-1.
Damage to dykes and levees in the Netherlands is extensive and increases with muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) density
The muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) is an invasive species in the Netherlands. Its burrowing habits are alleged to threaten the integrity of the extensive water control infrastructure, posing a public safety hazard in this densely populated, low-lying country. A national control program currently traps and kills tens of thousands of muskrats each year. The costs (annually about € 35M) as well as concerns raised by animal welfare groups have raised questions about whether the control program could be improved, and even whether it is necessary at all.
Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) is a very rare species in the North Sea. The remains of four whales identified as sei whales, originating from the Netherlands, are preserved in the zoological collection of Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, the Netherlands. A single bone in the Naturalis collection, found on the Dogger Bank just outside Dutch waters, was also identified as sei whale.
One of my favourite natural history books is “Monster of God”, by David Quammen, subtitled “The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind”. It tells the story of man’s relationship with big, fierce animals, the ones that can kill and eat us. To illustrate his story, Quammen draws on four examples, three of them mammals (Romanian bears, Russian tigers and Indian lions). He describes the threats to these species, the conflicts that arise where humans and large predators live near one another and the efforts of conservationists.
3D bone analysis for improving species identification: a case study on scapulae of selected small toothed whales occurring along the Dutch coast
Artikel in Lutra 61-2, 2018
Trefwoorden / keywords:
automated image analysis, bioinformatics, cetaceans, interactive identification key, Linnaeus NG, photogrammetry, harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris).