The abbreviation et al. is often seen where a number of authors who worked on a report are referred to. It is short for the Latin et alii, meaning "and others".
e.g. The damning report on the USA's contribution to global warming was written by John Smith et al.
Apparently alii is masculine, so is used for groups of men or boys. For women or girls et aliae should be used. The abbreviation's convenience is that it works either way!