Madagascar

download

Madagascar the world’s  oldest island broke off from Africa and India and has been on its own for more than 70 million years in splendid isolation it has evolved its very own wildlife more than 80% of it found nowhere else. New species are still being discovered every year. The fourth largest island in the world it si full of strange places and bizarre animals. Including the charismatic ring tailed lemurs and the enigmatic Sifaka. The land is also home to more chameleons than anywhere else and the biggest bugs and weirdest spiders in the world.images

It’s one of the few places left on Earth where there are still wildlife mysteries. It has an amazing collection of wildlife many of which have little been known like cyanide eating lemurs cannibalistic frogs meat eating plants cryptic leaf tailed geckos tadpole eating wasps tunnel digging chameleons and house proud flycatchers.images (2)

Lying just off the coast of Africa Madagascar is a land of misty mountains tropical rainforests and weird spiny desert scrub each with its own peculiar set of animals and plants. An island of extremes where the east is cloaked in soaking rainforest the west and south is almost a desert. The south of Madagascar is home to its most extraordinary landscapes  from forests of upside down trees to alien spiny deserts. In stark contrast to the east this is a place that’s bone dry to most of the year but it’s extraordinarily rich in wildlifedownload (3)

. Here only the toughest and most opportunistic survive and some of the strategies for survival are ingenious. The island has some of the highest mountains where trees ae few and it’s cold enough for frost. It’s also got lush cloaking rainforests down to the tropical coast which is home to rare varieties of ring tailed lemurs the jeweled geckos and the predatory wasps.download (1)

Much of Madagascar’s extraordinary wildlife is under threat from hunting and loss of habitat and none more so than in the south of the island.images (1)

The Marojejy Massif in the last sanctuary of one of Madagascar’s rarest lemurs the elusive ghostly white silky sifaka. It is estimated that only 200 of these  endearing creatures are left on Earth. In the lush rainforests of Ranomafana hides one of Madagascar’s most remarkable animals the golden bamboo lemur only discovered a few years ago. It is incredibly specialized eating just one species of bamboo a plant loaded with highly toxic cyanide. Every day they consume twelve times the lethal dose of this poison with no ill effects no one knows how they can do this.download (1)

Living in the iconic baobab forests on the west of the island are huge eyed mouse lemurs the world’s smallest primates emerging at night to feed on the sugary droppings of bizarre fluffy bugs. Labord’s chameleon is the shortest lived land vertebrate in the world. This striking animal lives just twelve weeks from hatching to adulthood.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s