Results for - Sail away to Madagascar
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Madagascar is an island in the Indian Ocean, about 300 miles off the coast of Mozambique. Roughly the size of Texas, the remote country is home to nearly 25,000 animal species — many of which are endangered and endemic. Scientists attribute this to the isolation of the island and distance from other land masses. It has over 3,000 miles of stunning coastline, rainforests, coral reefs, and one of the largest mangrove ecosystems in the world. It is known for exceptional fauna and flora, as well as rare and fascinating creatures.
1. Panther Chameleon - Nearly half the world's 200 known species of chameleons live here and exist nowhere else on the planet. The male reptiles have striking and vibrant rainbow colors. Females have more uniform colors, usually a light green or pink. At rest, these masters of disguise change their appearance to stay hidden from predators and blend in with their surroundings whether striped, spotted, plain, or multicolored. When on the defense or seeking a mate, it puts on a kaleidoscopic display unlike any other. These lizards live in open habitats on the island's central eastern and northern regions. Chameleons are considered opportunistic hunters, because they sit and wait for their prey to move within range before striking out their long tongues to capture and eat them. Are you familiar with this chameleon?
2. Giraffe Weevil - A rare species of beetle found only on the island - This odd-looking weevil has an elongated neck, a tiny rounded body, bright red wings, and long black legs. The male's neck is two to three times longer than the females — an adaptation that comes in handy for nest building and fighting off other males and predators. This bug is both fascinating and hard to miss. Are you familiar with this weevil?
3. Mouse Lemur - Of the dozens of discovered species of lemurs living here, the adorable mouse lemur is notable for being the smallest primate in the world. There are several different species, almost all of which have been discovered in the last 25 to 30 years. These pint-sized creatures usually weigh about as much as a tennis ball, are just a few inches in height, and live high in the treetops. Have you seen or heard about this small primate?
4. Aye-Aye - lives in the northern region, and was initially believed to belong to the rodent family. With large, bulging, amber eyes, bat-like ears, and sharp front teeth, these unusual creatures are endangered due to their shrinking habitat. Also, they are frequently hunted by the Malagasy people, who believe they bring misfortune. They use their long, thin middle finger to tap trees and dig out larvae to eat. They move nimbly on all fours, but cannot grip or use their long tails to swing from branches like their primate cousins. Are you familiar with this unusual creature?