6 OCT 2017
In a truly fascinating case, scientists have discovered that what was once thought to be an extremely rare, elusive songbird in Africa, may have never existed after all.
For more than 30 years, experts tried to catch a glimpse of a bird so evasive it was deemed almost mythical. And now DNA analysis points to an explanation for these frustrating efforts, and it's bad news for the bird's entire species.
This weird story starts with a family of brightly-coloured, medium-sized songbirds that tweet all across Africa and Asia. Collectively known as bulbuls and greenbuls, they comprise approximately 130 species.
One of those species is a yellowish-green bird called the icterine greenbul (Phyllastrephus icterinus), a cute forest-dweller common across the entire western and central Africa.