Finding Leeches in Rwanda American Museum of Natural History main content.

Finding Leeches in Rwanda American Museum of Natural History

by AMNH on


In 1909 the American Museum of Natural History's Herbert Lang and James Chapin embarked on a scientific expedition to the northeastern Belgian Congo. Their trip would ultimately last five and a half years yielding significant zoological and anthropological findings for the museum.

Exactly 100 years later another museum scientist, Dr. Mark Siddall, embarked on an expedition to the neighboring Rwanda. As a curator of invertebrate zoology he travelled to Rwanda in search of leeches -- an animal that Lang and Chapin brought back amongst their original findings. Siddall's research focuses on various aspects of leeches including the compound allowing them to stop blood from clotting and their DNA. In total he collected five distinct species of leeches on this latest trip.

Watch as Siddall traverses Rwanda's rugged landscape and interacts with the local population in search of the curious blood sucking creatures.

Media Inquiries: Department of Communications, 212-769-5800