Bijeenkomst 6 juni: Fossiele herten

Zaterdag 9 juni organiseert het bestuur een wel heel bijzondere bijeenkomst met maar liefst twee internationale (Engelstalige) sprekers over fossiele herten. Het is tevens een uitgelezen kans om resten van reuzenherten, rendieren en andere herten te laten determineren door kenners. We zijn deze dag te gast in Het Natuurhistorisch. Goed bereikbaar met het OV (station Rotterdam Centraal, metrostation Eendrachtsplein of tramhalte Kievitslaan). Kom je met de auto? Overweeg dan een kortingskaart te reserveren voor de Museumparkgarage. Je betaalt dan slechts €10 voor 10 uur parkeren.

PROGRAMMA

11.00 Ontvangst met koffie en thee

11.30 Emily Wiesendanger (Royal Holloway, University of London): The Late Pleistocene Reindeer Rangifer tarandus of Britain and Western Europe – Past Migrations and Seasonality

During the last glaciation, reindeer, a highly specialised cold adapted ungulate, was extremely common throughout Britain and Western Europe, in marked contrast to the vulnerability of the species today. Fossil records indicate the presence of large herds on the open, grassland ecosystems which once dominated Western Europe, for which such high densities of herbivores would have had significant impacts on the ecosystem processes, particularly for predators which included early hominins.

By reconstructing the palaeobiogeography (migrations and seasonality) of reindeer over the Late Pleistocene, the impacts of climatic, environmental, and anthropogenic changes on reindeer ecology can be more closely constrained. As bi-annual migrators, this is achieved by examining the seasonality of site occupations through the recognition of seasonal aggregations, primarily through the ageing and sexing of individual reindeer specimens. It is further anticipated that palaeoenvironmental changes could have had a considerable influence on the palaeodiet and body masses of fossil reindeer, the identification of which will not only improve our understanding of the impacts of such changes on this species, but could potentially identify the existence of discrete ecotypes. Nevertheless, more recent morphological variations in reindeer, particularly of body mass, demonstrate that the combination of both fossil and historical specimens are therefore vital for us to constrain both the past and continuous impacts of climatic and anthropogenic change on this ecologically vulnerable species.

As part of this research, I am therefore interested in studying reindeer material from numerous Late Pleistocene sites across Western Europe, including those from the Netherlands. As such, I would like to take this opportunity to invite any members of the WPZ with reindeer material within their collections including; bones, antlers and teeth, to bring these to the upcoming meeting. I will be conducting visual identifications and morphometric measurements (using digital calipers) of any material brought to the meeting. This will not only provide greater insight into the seasonality each individual fossil represents, but also the migrational patterns of reindeer across Europe during the Late Pleistocene. My thanks in advance to WPZ members.

12.30 Mededelingen door de leden

13.00 Pauze en aanvang determinatiesessie

Je kunt een eigen lunch nuttigen of gebruik maken van het Kunsthalcafé tegenover het museum. Tevens is er gelegenheid het museum te bezoeken.

14.00 Nigel Monaghan (National Museum of Ireland): Megaloceros – The ice age giant deer of Ireland

This lecture will explore the history, biology and palaeontology of the ‘Irish elk’ Megaloceros giganteus. It was given the common name over two centuries ago, but it is not an elk, and it is not just found in Ireland. These deer are found across northern Europe and into Asia. They had the biggest antlers of all time and have been used in debates around evolution. They can fetch high prices at auction and have been gifts to kings as far back as the sixteenth century. A Dutch settler discovered one set of antlers in County Clare (Ireland) about 1630 that are in the British Royal Palace at Hampton Court today. The antler sets in Irish museums and castles are from the period around 11,000 years ago when Ireland had many small lakes, and deer were buried in lake floor sediments. The places became the sites of peat bog development, and digging for peat turf as fuel led to the discovery of many giant deer. In the nineteenth century many antlers and some skeletons were exported to museums and private collectors around the world. Research has shown that the antlers were used for fighting, that the species is closely related to fallow deer (Dama dama), and has examined the huge demands of growing antlers on the bodies of these magnificent animals.

15.00 Vervolg determinatiesessie

Emily Wiesendanger zal fossielen van rendieren op naam brengen en opmeten voor haar onderzoek aan seizoenaliteit en migratiepatronen. Ze moet zoveel mogelijk Nederlands en Noordzeemateriaal bestuderen om goed te kunnen vergelijken met haar Engelse gegevens.

16.00 Afsluiting