July 11, 2012
This is another species found only in Madagascar, Rand’s Warbler, Randia pseudozosterops. Field Museum intern and University of Chicago graduate student Nick Block captured this bird, and it provided the first modern DNA samples for the species. Nick was able to confirm the species placement in the Bernieridae, a diverse family endemic to Madagascar. It may not be that exciting to look at but Rand’s Warbler tells a great story of the new insights into the avian tree of life DNA can provide, and Nick assures us that it had some cool lice on it too. If you're into that sort of thing, check out this episode of The Field Revealed: Variety is the spice of Lice!
Nick is defending his dissertation on Monday, July 16. Good luck, Nick!