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Masika sipa

Wooly lemurs: everything for the family

Avahi laniger

Lemurs are generally considered social, peaceful animals. But one lemur, in particular, stands out in terms of its family ties: the eastern woolly lemur (Avahi laniger). The name comes from its slightly curly fur, which no other lemur in Madagascar has. Eastern woolly lemurs live only on Madagascar, they are endemic to the island. Their habitat is on the east coast …

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The chameleon that was thought to be lost

It seems completely unbelievable that there are still lost species that could be rediscovered in the 21st century. But in Madagascar, almost anything is possible. And so in 2020, almost unbelievable news went around the world: A chameleon had been rediscovered after more than a hundred years! The whole story goes back to 1893. At that time, paleontologist Oskar Böttger, …

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The cave paintings of Andriamamelo

In the west of Madagascar, far from roads and larger cities, lies the dry forest of Beanka. Although by far not as well known as the world-famous Tsingy de Bemaraha a little further south, this area also has its own Tsingys. Malagasy Tsingy, that’s karst rock shaped like meter-high needle peaks. A complicated system of caves and gorges winds through …

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Identification help for Ravenalas

Since 2021, it has been known that there is not just one, but six different species of the Tree of Travelers. But how do they differ? This small identification guide should help to classify them. A complete article about the different Ravenalas and their occurrence can be found here: The Tree of Travelers. Photos will be added soon, until then …

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The giant sloth lemur

Just 500 or 1000 years ago – in the history of the earth, that’s just the blink of an eye – countless giant animals lived on Madagascar. Among them were the famous elephant birds, a giant tortoise, and a creature you would never expect to find in Africa: a giant sloth. Sloths, as we know them today, are only found …

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Mantella ebenaui: Mr. Ebenau’s colorful frog

Looks like a poison dart frog, but it’s not! Like their South American counterparts, frogs of the genus Mantella on Madagascar wear bright colors to draw attention to skin poisons. For humans, however, the small frogs of the island in the Indian Ocean are completely harmless. Ebenau’s colorful frog (Mantella ebenaui) doesn’t match its English name ‘Brown frog’. It wears …

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Successful hunter: Henst’s Goshawk

The Madagascar Goshawk or Henst’s Goshawk (Accipiter henstii) lives up to its name: it lives exclusively on the red island and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. It can often be seen circling high in the sky during the dry season. Henst’s Goshawk grows to 52 to 62 centimeters with an impressive wingspan of 86 to 100 centimeters. …

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The little forest spirits – Kalanoro

Morgennebel

Many myths and legends surround the Kalanoro, the small forest spirits of Madagascar. The ethnic groups of the Betsimisaraka, the Sakalava, and the Bara are said to be early humans similar to the legendary Vazimba. The Tanala call them Fahasivy. Kalanoro is particularly small, not even one meter tall. Despite their small size, they are unusually strong. Kalanoro wear their …

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The Lined Day Gecko

There are still many geckos on Madagascar whose species status is not completely clear. One of these species is Phelsuma lineata, the Lined Day Gecko. It is named after the black stripe that runs along the side of its body. Currently, four subspecies of the Lined Day Gecko are known, which are distributed all over Madagascar. They differ not only …

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The 1000 orchids of Madagascar

Cynorkis liliacina

Madagascar, the tropical island in the Indian Ocean, is better known as the land of baobabs. In fact, Madagascar is also a paradise for orchids. Currently, over 1000 different species are described from the island, over 90% of which are endemic, i.e. only found on Madagascar. The name orchid, by the way, has a less than praiseworthy origin. It comes …

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