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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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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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Tuna on vegetable salad

Salady amin’ny lamatra sy mais This fresh salad with tuna goes wonderfully with a warm beach day in Madagascar. The recipe comes from the east coast of the island. Tuna is regularly caught fresh by hand there, large trawlers and huge nets are a rarity. The bluefin tuna tastes best. It grows up to 4.5 meters long during its lifetime …

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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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Inselbergs Angavokely and Angavobe

Angavokely and Angavobe: The names Angavokely and Angavobe mean “few bats” and “many bats”. The names refer to the caves of the protected area where the harmless fluttering animals live. Location: The park of Angavokely and Angavobe is located only 36 km east of the capital Antananarivo. With a car and driver, it takes about one to two hours to …

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The Malagasy Scops Owl

Owls are mysterious guardians of the night. The Malagasy Scops Owl (Otus rutilus) is a very special bird of the red island: it weighs only a little more than a bar of chocolate and reaches a size of only up to 23 cm. This makes it, as its name suggests, a very small owl. Like all owls, it can move …

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