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Greg Laden’s Congo Memoirs

April 26, 2009

Greg Laden’s Congo Memoirs are finished: he just posted the last one:

…My own research in the Upper Semliki valley involved looking at the spatial relationships between animals and plants, and animals and other animals, to try to figure out what caused the apparently spontaneous formation of animal trails. To many people, this seems utterly obvious, but on closer examination, it is not. (Trust me. I’m not going into that here.) The point of bringing this up is simply to note that one of the things I did was regularly traverse the landscape, on foot and alone, to record the distribution of fresh animal tracks, other animal spoor, and animal trails.

One day I was doing this and came across a fairly fresh set of lion prints. Three lions, possibly a male and two females, were heading east from the river. So I followed them.

After a while I found myself also following tracks of a research crew that was traversing the landscape looking for bones. This would have been Joan and two or three local guys and maybe an Earthwatcher or two … probably a half dozen people in all. It was clear to me that the lions were following the humans. At one point, the lions lay down for a period of time, and it was obvious that this was during the time that the humans had settled in for lunch. I could see that the lions were watching the humans eat their lunch from a distance of about 10 meters. I assume the humans did not notice this…

A few titles: “It had to be snakes”; “How to make an elephant turn invisible”; “The crater and the cocodile”; “The mountain giveth, the mountain taketh away”; “A hippo runs over Rudy”; “Kenyatsi, place of evil”;  “the lion, the tent, and the anthropologist”; “Gunfire at night” and many more.
Begin HERE.

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  1. April 27, 2009 at 09:05 | #1

    “In a moment of startling clarity, I realized that I didn’t really want to do field research.”

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