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Whale Sharks – The Giants of the Seas

Until a few years ago, whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, had never been heard of in connection with Madagascar. Today Madagascar is the absolute insider tip for anyone who wants to experience whale sharks up close. The life of whale sharks is still almost unknown Whale sharks belong to the nurse sharks. This makes them the largest fish in the world. …

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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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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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Hot Mango salad

Lasary manga masiaka This spicy mango salad is eaten mainly in northwestern Madagascar. The Sakalava, the tribe living in this region, typically prepare it in large quantities and then fill the finished salad into recycled plastic bottles. The bottles are lined up on the side of the road in small stalls where they can be purchased for very little money. …

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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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Master of camouflage: The Marbled Rain Frog

Madagascar is home to many frogs that are found nowhere else in the world. One such unique inhabitant of the tropical island is Scaphiophryne marmorata, the Marbled Rain Frog. The males of the Marbled Rain Frog grow to 32 to 36 millimeters in size – that’s just a little more than two sugar cubes. You can easily recognize them by …

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The game of games: Pétanque

No matter where you travel in Madagascar: At some point, you will encounter people playing with silver balls on a piece of flat ground. The balls are usually worn, the carved lines on them barely recognizable, and the balls themselves are barely round from being used so much. The game is called pétanque and, except for its country of origin, …

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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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