Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Southeast Africa.
The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world), as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands.
Madagascar is famous for its wonderful weather, its beautiful forests that have animals and plants that are unique only to this island and are not found anywhere else in the world.
Strange plants and species of Madagascar
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Madagascar is home to an abundance of plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth.
Approximately 90 per cent of all plant and animal species found in Madagascar are endemic, including the lemurs, the carnivorous fossa and many birds.
This distinctive ecology has led some ecologists to refer to Madagascar as the “eighth continent”, and the island has been classified by Conservation International as a biodiversity hotspot.
Below are some of the strange species of Madagascar you probably don’t know about:
#1). Fat-Tailed Dwarf Lemur
Also known as a western fat-tailed dwarf lemur, or spiny forest dwarf lemur, the Fat-Tailed Dwarf Lemur is one of the smallest living primates in the world, and it is native to the dry deciduous forests of western and southern Madagascar. known to hibernate for up to eight months of the year, this cute critter lives off fat reserves stored in its hefty tail.
#2). Aye Aye
This odd-looking lemur can be found mainly on the east coast of Madagascar. While it won’t win any beauty contests, it can lay claim to being the largest nocturnal primate in the world.
Its unique way of finding food (knocking on trees then gnawing through the wood to access the hidden grubs) makes the Aye Aye similar to the woodpecker.
With a cat-like body and a dog-like face, this strange beast endemic to Madagascar is actually closely related to the mongoose species. A carnivorous predator, the fossa roams forests day and night in search of prey – preferably lemurs, rodents and other small mammals. Until recently scientists thought the fossa, with its feline features, was a primitive kind of cat.
This is extremely rare and bizarre little species that can bear resemblance to many different animals due to the unique circumstances of its evolution.
Sharing ancestry with animals as diverse as elephants, sea cows and aardvarks, most tenrecs look like small hedgehogs or otters and can range in size from a tiny 4cm to a robust 39cm.
#5). Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko
Home to a whole raft of interesting and unusual reptiles, Madagascar’s most devilish creation has to be the Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko. With red eyes, a tail shaped like a leaf and a head like Lucifer, it’s no wonder locals are afraid of them. The Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko varies in colour but is often mottled brown, and small black dots on the underside help distinguish it from similar species.