Extraordinarily similar woodpeckers in South America and Africa? And not only woodpeckers: other bird families across a wide range, as well as quintessentially African trees native across South America, from Ecuador to Paraguay. How could this be?
The Woodpecker Mystery
This ‘how’ question nagged, especially when the obvious answer – continental drift- turned out to be a blind alley. The mystery would be solved by clues ranging from a tiny migratory thrush to a tree both charismatic and iconic, admired around the world. The multiple epiphanies leading to the answers Norman sought would confirm the wisdom of Sherlock Holmes’ maxim that ‘When you have eliminated that which is impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.’