This blog is the start of a short series documenting the plant-collection trip of Canadian Museum of Nature botanist Lynn Gillespie, Ph.D., and her graduate student Warren Cardinal-McTeague. They will be collecting plants in Madagascar from October 16 to December 12. Follow their adventure in the field using a live global positioning map and Twitter!
Madagascar is truly an island of intrigue—a land like no other. It is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and is home to numerous endemic lineages of plants and animals (organisms found nowhere else on Earth!).
Their rarity and uniqueness is due to the island’s 88 million years of isolation from Africa and India, which allowed the biota to evolve and diversify in solitude.
Madagascar is home to many iconic organisms including lemurs, aye ayes, chameleons, geckos, snails, baobab trees and orchids. This accumulation of curious and unusual organisms has inspired biological research for…