On the island of Madagascar, scientist Hannah Wood is on the trail of a ruthless killer. First discovered encased in amber in the 19th century, it’s a creature that has fascinated Wood throughout her career. And now, she has managed to track it down – learning more about this strange species than ever before.
Located in the Indian Ocean, some 250 miles from the eastern coast of Africa, Madagascar was once part of Gondwana, a supercontinent that covered almost 40 million square miles. But 135 million years ago, the landmass split in two. And more than 45 million years after that, Madagascar separated from India to form an island of its own.
Because of its unique geological past, Madagascar has become a haven where unusual flora and fauna have flourished over eons. Evolving in an environment comparatively isolated from the rest of the world, many of the island’s plants and animals have developed traits and quirks that have fascinated scientists for generations.