The Museum is on a mission to digitise the 80 million specimens in its collection. We want to make the information the specimens hold about the natural world more openly available to scientists and the public. Among the thousands of microscope slides we have imaged are the Museum’s parasitic louse slide collection consisting of 70,000+ slides, of which more than 200 are aquatic lice (the Echinophthiriidae) that are part of the sucking lice family (Siphunculata). Now we need your help to transcribe information from the specimen labels so that the data can be shared openly with the global scientific community on the Museum’s Data Portal. Lice live on the outside of their bird and mammal hosts. They are highly host specific, with the majority of species being unique to a particular host species, off of which they cannot survive for long. As their evolutionary history is closely related to that of their hosts, parasitic lice are frequently used as a model to study co-evolutionary processes. Co-evolution is the process that occurs when two species influence each other during evolution.
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