Lay-out and Editing

Volunteer work

Cranium, Werkgroep Pleistocene Zoogdieren

[logo of the WPZ by Kennis and Kennis]

From 2002 to 2008 I was chief editor and graphic designer for Cranium, the journal of the Dutch WPZ (Werkgroep Pleistocene Zoogdieren = Working Group Pleistocene Mammals). The scope of Cranium are Pleistocene mammals and their direct Pliocene ancestors; occasionally, articles on birds, reptiles and Miocene mammals are published, when relevant to the scope of the journal. Since the majority of the WPZ-members are amateur-palaeontologists who actively collect fossils, articles on specimens from private collections are accepted. This policy is against that of most scientific journals, because published observations and analyses should be repeatable, and this is best ensured when the described fossils are in public-domain collections. Cranium can afford this deviation, because members of the WPZ do not hold their collections closed, on the contrary, they proved to be eager to show them to specialists in the field in exchange for a scientific opinion. In this way, valuable specimens, otherwise hidden, now become available for the larger palaeontological community. Contact data are always given at the end of each article. Another rare topic in most journals are comprehensible overviews of taxonomical groups, ecosystems, localities or regions. Most scientific journals reject such articles, because in principle no new theory or observation is presented. Cranium welcomes such articles, because even for the specialist, a fast overview and state of the art is always needed as an introduction before going into detail. Rare to find in other journals are reports about non-mainstream collections. Again, such reports do not formulate new theories, yet they provide valuable information about the distribution and availability of fossil specimens worldwide. Since most of this kind of collections are stored and exposed in local museums, they are easily missed by the specialist researcher. Finally, Cranium publishes relevant information about WPZ-members themselves, such as PhD defences, in memoriams, moving collections and so on.


[Spring issue 2006, featuring East African Pleistocene mammals on the cover (drawing Maurice Anton)]

Short summaries of published articles

Africa, the Evolution of a Continent and its Large Mammal Fauna by Alan Turner and Mauricio Anton. Africa contains around 1,100 mammalian species, about a quarter of the worldwide total and a diversity unequalled elsewhere (Kingdon, 1997). Molecular analyses suggest a small number of these, including elephants, aardvarks and elephant shrews, form a unique group, the Afrotheria, with a restricted common ancestry there (Madsen et al., 2001; Murphy et al., 2001). Yet the African mammal fauna also shares elements with adjacent continents, the result of biogeographic changes induced by continental movements and climatic changes (Cox & Moore, 2004). We offer an illustrated overview, based on a more detailed study presented elsewhere (Turner & Anton, 2004), of the evolution of the continent and of its large-mammal fauna from around thirty million years ago (Mya).
Artwork by MA is based wherever possible upon the skeleton of the species being reconstructed to provide a clear guide for the placement and bulk of the muscles as a basis for the external features. More detail of methods and approach can be found elsewhere (Anton, 2003a, 2003b, Turner & Anton, 2004).

Adaptations of the Pleistocene island canid Cynotherium sardous (Sardinia, Italy) for hunting small prey by George Lyras and Alexandra van der Geer. Cynotherium sardous is a small canid that lived on the island of Sardinia-Corsica during the Pleistocene. Once on the island, the species gradually adapted, and became specialized in hunting small prey like the lagomorph Prolagus. Moreover, in order to fulfil mass-related energetic requirements, the species had to reduce body size compared to its ancestor Xenocyon, which was larger than the grey wolf. Cynotherium carried its head much in the way foxes do, and was able to hold its body low to the ground when stalking. In addition, it could move its head laterally better than any living canid.
Download PDF.

Reuzen, cyclopen, heiligen, helden, draken en monsters by Charissa van Kooten. For centuries, findings of large fossilized bones of extinct animals triggered the imagination of humans all over the world. People were curious about the origin of these enormous bones. They created, what from our point of view appear to be, monsterous reconstructions of beings to which the bones may have once belonged. People believed that the bones belonged to a number of different types of monsters. The very fact that such reconstructions were made is not as unusual as it may appear. Even now findings of large bones trigger the imagination. Thanks to our increased knowledge of the anatomy and ecology of these extinct beasts, we can now make more realistic reconstructions than ever before. This article deals mainly with the findings of Pleistocene mammalian bones and the way people through the ages perceived them.

A review of the systematics of Pliocene and Pleistocene moose, part 2 by Gennady G. Boeskorov. This paper is the second part of the article on the evolution and the systematics of the moose. Data from the literature on morphological variability and genetics of the moose and new data are discussed. New data on fossil broad-fronted moose (Cervalces; see part 1) and true moose (Alces) is submitted. The former and Libralces (part 1) are no direct ancestors of Alces (part 2). A revision of the systematics of the moose is carried out, and questions on phylogeny are reconsidered.

How to submit

[Cover (reverse side) of Cranium, 1984-2006 with the old logo]

If you feel that your article is within the scope of Cranium, send it digitally to the editor in chief, Liselotte Takken (, or to a member of the editorial board.

Editorial board

Liselotte Takken
Parmentierpad 19
2171 NP Sassenheim

Natasja den Ouden
Mondriaanweg 14
1328 ES Almere

Paul Hille
Putterlaan 42
3722 WH Bilthoven

Reanne van Kleef
Pelikaanhof 122b
2312 EG Leiden

Losse nummers zijn te koop bij de secretaris van de WPZ,, Mondriaanweg 14, 1328 ES Almere.


[De koningscobra is de langste gifslang ter wereld]

Fairbooks is a young publisher, specialised in fairtrade products of traditional Indian art (for more info on Fairbooks and its vision, visit their website). They had the traditional artist Sudha Devi from Madhubani, Bihar, paint the wild animals of India. The paintings now illustrate a small booklet for children (in Dutch) with the title Wilde Beesten Boek. I wrote the text and designed the lay-out.

Wilde Beesten Boek

Toegankelijk (voor)leesboekje over wilde dieren in India met prachtige illustraties van Sudha Devi en met amusante wetenswaardigheden over de afgebeelde dieren, bijvoorbeeld over de strepen van de Bengaalse tijger, het moederschap van de zeekrokodil en het modderbad van de pantserneushoorn.
Prijs: € 6,95 | 24 pagina’s | 17,8 x 17,8 cm. Voor meer informatie en winkelinkoop kunt u contact opnemen via: of 070-3824095

Sudha Devi

Fairbooks werkt samen met traditionele kunstenaars uit de Noord-Indiase regio Madhubani, de schilderessen Priti Jha, Sudha Devi, Rupa Karan en Shakuntela Devi en haar dochter Anita Devi. Fairbooks biedt hen een eerlijke prijs voor hun werk en stelt hen in de gelegenheid om zich deels te ontworstelen aan uitbuiting door lokale kunstopkopers. Sudha Devi illustreerde het Wilde Beesten Boek.

De Zeekrokodil, getekend door Sudha Devi


Booklets for NKUA

[In the Museum: Mosasaurus]

The Museum of Palaeontology and Geology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens is renovating its exhibition. Lively reconstructions of the past have been made to teach the visitors everything of the far away past, of a time before humans. Fossil remains in a glass showcase are nowadays not enough anymore to show the way of living of an extinct animal. Complete skeletons and life size models are a necessary addition, next to the real fossil remains in the glass showcases. Booklets for visitors give the much needed information, much more than any label can do.

One of the new additions is a cast of a Mosasaurus skeleton, made by Hans Brinkerink. Once, this huge carnivorous sea reptile hunted the Late Cretaceous seas. It roamed all the seas of the world, and did so for millions of years. At that time the Earth was warmer, and the seas where Mosasaurus swam were subtropical. The climate gradually changed, became cooler, and other creatures evolved, slowly leading to the extinction of the earlier creatures. At around 65 millions of years ago, Mosasaurus had its last meal.

To educate the visitors of our museum, Michael Dermitzakis had the idea of writing a booklet. I wrote the English part, Socrates Roussiakis wrote the Greek part. In addition, I did the lay-out for the interior of the booklet; the cover design is by George Lyras, based upon one of his posters of the Specimen of the Month series.

The booklet gives information about the biology of the Mosasaurus and its amazing anatomy, with an extra joint in the lower jaw like the pythons of today, to swallow large prey as a whole! You can read about how and where the first fossils of Mosasaurus were found, in a time before people knew about the extinct animals. The fossils of this huge sea reptile were the start of discussions about extinction and evolution, and the many fossils of other reptiles found during the following years added to the emergence of a new science: that of palaeontology.

Newsletter VVIK

[The very first issue of the VVIK Newsletter]

In April 2003, Janet Kamphorst came with the idea of a Newsletter for our society VVIK (Vereniging Vrienden van Instituut Kern). We agreed that we would do a test, number zero, on the occassion of our Indology Day. I did the lay-out, Janet the editing. It was a success, and a tradition was born. Eight issues later, Janet had to say good-bye, and was replaced by Raju Bakker. The tasks are not well divided, I also do some editing, and the editors also comment on the lay-out, in short, a team-work production!

The scope of the Newsletter is announcement of activities, book and film reviews, short contributions on presented papers and other news that is of interest to the members of the society. The language is Dutch, but for foreign contributors English is acceptable.

For more info, click here, or visit the homepage of the Vrienden van Instituut Kern (Leiden, the Netherlands).

How to submit:

Send your idea or contribution to or to

My contributions to previous issues:

Nr 0: Announcement of the lecture of Claudia Preckel (Bochum, Germany) on masculinity in Indian movies.

Nr 2: "The restoration of the so-called Gandhara-album", with photographs of over a century old.
Nr 4: "Announcement of the Indology Day 2005" on the relation between humans and animals.
Nr 4: "Animals in the database" on valuable photographs in the Institute's database.

This site has been designed and developed by Gregory Lyras