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Reptiles

A gecko jewel: Standing’s Day Gecko

Phelsuma standingi

In southwest Madagascar, between spiny forests and wooden huts, lives a gecko with triking colours: Standing’s Day Gecko (Phelsuma standingi). Who visits the dry, hot area between Morombe, Toliara (French Tuléar) and the national park Isalo, will sooner or later meet this beautiful reptile. It originally lives in dry and spiny forests, but today – contrary to many other, outdated …

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Clad in armour but hardly protected: The Radiated Tortoise

They have not changed for millions of years and still fascinate people all over the world: tortoises. A particularly beautiful species lives in the south of Madagascar: the Radiated Tortoise (Astrochelys radiata). Its history begins long, long before the first people came to Madagascar. But it was not until 1802 that the Englishman George Shaw described the Radiated Tortoise. He …

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Life in drought and heat – The Malagasy collared lizard

Chalarodon madagascariensis

Only few animals can survive in Madagascar’s dry, hot south for long. One of them is the Madagascar sand lizard (Chalarodon madagascariensis). Madagascar has no large iguanas like you probably know iguanas from America. Instead the local iguanas are rather small, agile and swift – they are so special, that they got their own family, which exists nowhere else on …

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Life in colour: panther chameleons

Panther chameleons (Furcifer pardalis) belong to the most famous inhabitants of Madagascar and regularly populate the coastal areas of northwest Madagascar, across the north and on the east coast down to about 120 kilometres south of Toamasina (Tamatave). There seem to be no particular favourites among the populated habitats, even if one sees them particularly well in open, bush-covered areas. …

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The Malagasy Tree Boa

Saying of many ages and fairy tales she has a dubious reputation, but actually she is a fascinating forest dweller: The Malagasy Tree Boa. There are two species of Tree Boa in Madagascar. The species Sanzinia madagascariensis lives mainly in the rainforests of the east coast of Madagascar. The second species, Sanzinia volontany, has conquered other habitats such as the …

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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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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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