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Flora and Fauna

Mysterious and nocturnal: The Votsotsa

A very special inhabitant of Madagascar is the Votsotsa. It looks like a mixture of a rabbit, a kangaroo, and a rat. Big ears, cute black button eyes, a partly jumping locomotion and a hardly hairy, narrow tail. In fact, the Votsotsa belongs to the Madagascar rats, a separate genus that only lives in Madagascar. It is the largest rodent …

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Mother of Thousands: Kalanchoe daigremontiana

In the south of Madagascar, many strange plants thrive. Only very special plants can adapt to the extremely dry and hot climate. One of them is the Mother of Thousands, with the scientific name Kalanchoe daigremontiana. It is still unclear whether the species should be assigned to the genus Kalanchoe or to the genus Bryophyllum. There is still a lack …

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Trickster with plumage: The Crested Drongo

Drongos populate the entire continent of Africa. Their habitat on the island of Madagascar is just as variable as the African continent. From dry forest to rainforest, from intact primary jungle to man-made farmland, the Drongo can cope with almost any environment. But the Drongo species on Madagascar is a special one: Here live the Madagascan, endemic subspecies of the …

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The Ankarana Sportive Lemur

Sportive Lemurs are everywhere in Madagascar. But every place has its own species. In the far north of Madagascar, in the dry forests of Ankarana, lives the eponymous Ankarana Sportive Lemur (Lepilemur ankaranensis). It is widespread as far as the nearby rainforests and dry forests of the Amber Mountain as well as Analamerana and Manongarivo and is only about 25 …

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Perfectly camouflaged giants: Uroplatus giganteus

Madagascar’s reptiles offer many a superlative. The smallest lizard in the world, the most colorful chameleons, the smallest iguana, the rarest tortoise – all that is missing is a record-breaking gecko. The Giant Leaf-tailed Gecko (Uroplatus giganteus) fills exactly this gap. It measures up to 34.5 cm and is thus the second largest gecko in the world. The giants among …

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The Crested Coua

Couas are only found in Madagascar. A particularly pretty representative of these colorful birds is the Crested Coua (Coua cristata). The back and tail feathers are purple, the breast feathers are rust-red, the head carries the eponymous mop of feathers. Around the eyes, as with all Couass, there is naked skin around the eyes, which glows blue in this species. …

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The Ground Gecko of the South: Paroedura picta

The hot south is the home of a small and very pretty gecko, the Madagascar Ground Gecko (Paroedura picta). It inhabits spiny and dry forests around Toliara (French: Tuléar) down to the bay of St. Augustin. The somewhat wetter valley along the river Onilahy is also populated. Even further south the species occurs as far as Berenty and Amboasary Sud …

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What do you know about Madagascar’s chameleons? Animal quiz

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How well do you know Madagascar’s lemurs? Animal quiz

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The Common Big-Eyed Snake

In Madagascar, no one needs to be afraid of snakes. One of the most common snakes in the west and south of the island is the Common Big-Eyed Snake (Mimophis mahfalensis). But it is also one of the most harmless snakes that only bites in the worst of times. If you simply watch it, you will discover exciting behaviours. The …

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