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Flora and Fauna

A diadem of fur: Diademed Sifakas

Diademsifaka in Madagaskar

The Diademed Sifaka (Propithecus diadema) is with a total length of 105 cm and a weight between five and seven kilograms one of the largest lemurs of Madagascar and because of its unusual fur colors also one of the most beautiful. His face is framed by long white fur, which looks a bit like a tiara and gave these lemurs …

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The Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko

A small but very pretty gecko lives well camouflaged in the rainforests of the central east and southeast in the highlands of Madagascar: the Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus). The little guy got his name from biologist George Boulenger as early as 1888. The Belgian first described the species and chose the name because of the bizarre appearance of the …

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Lemurs in general

Lemurs are probably Madagascar’s most famous mammals – not for nothing, because they originally exist only there and nowhere else in the world. They belong to the strepsirrhine primates and are divided into about 100 different species. The word lemures comes from Latin and refers to the spirits of the dead of ancient Rome, who have little resemblance to the …

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Reptiles in general

Furcifer labordi

Madagascar is the reptile paradise per se and especially known for its chameleons. 92 of all 213 up to date described chameleon species only occur in Madagascar. They seem to be fabulous creatures with their strange tongue, the independently from eacht other movable eyes and feet and hands transformed into grapsing forceps. Unfortunately, those beautiful animals aren’t very popular with …

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Amphibians in general

Especially the rainforests of Madagascar offer an abundance of different frogs for observation and discovery. Almost 4% of the world’s amphibian fauna is found on the island. Especially in the rainy areas on the east coast you can find countless different species in a small area. In the rainy season the croaking, chirping and chirping of the courtshiping males can …

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An extraordinary predator: The Fossa

Indeed it looks a little strange: The Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox). The long-stretched body wears a thick tail of almost equal length, and the cat-like head is graced by quite sharp teeth and a big, round nose. And although the Fossa grows only knee-high, it is Madagascar’s largest predator. Both genders reach a maximum body weight of 12 kg, the males …

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Other mammals in general

Ringelschwanzmanguste Gallidia elegans im Montagne dAmbre

Originally, Madagascar has no big mammals like buffaloes, zebras, hippos, lions or other large animals you can meet all around Africa. Ruminants, which settle nearly all regions worldwide, lack in Madagascar completely. The now everywhere kept Zebus were introduced to the island as domestic cattle and don’t occur in the wild. The Indian Civet is another animal introduced by humans, …

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Birds in general

Vögel im Montagne d'Ambre

Almost 300 different bird species inhabit Madagascar, half of them are endemic. The country’s flagship species, the Madagascar fish eagle or Ankoay (Haliaeetus vociferoides), is a bird of prey. It’s the biggest one in Madagascar and critically endangered, not even more than 100 pairs are known to breed on the island. Other birds of prey are the Madagascar serpent eagle …

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Insects and arachnids in general

Presumably, the largest wealth of species of Madagascar can be found in insects and arachnids. Several thousands species could it be, rather more – especially since many of them are neither discovered nor described yet. Famous and bizarre at the same time is the giraffe-necked weevil. The males of this species got red wings and have a long, giraffe-like, black …

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Flora in general

Not only Madagascar’s fauna is unique, but animal life is also at home in a fantastic flora. It is estimated that Madagascar is home to around 14,000 different plant species. Over three-quarters of them are found nowhere else in the world. Unfortunately, more and more non-native plants are spreading all over Madagascar. Introduced pines and eucalyptus grow wherever the original …

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