Top Ten Wildlife Highlights of Madagascar

As seen in BBC Wildlife's February 2011 magazine, Madagascar is a fascinating place, where many of the fauna and flora species are solely found on that island and no where else. You may also recognise some of these from the movie Madagascar, except, I warn you in advance, there are no lions, zebras, giraffes and hippos in this list!

Fossa, click to see full1: Fossa:


1: Fossa
This is one of the weirdest carnivores recorded, and not a lot is actually known about them. It was originally thought to be a type of primitive cat, but the fosa actually belongs to the mongoose family. Mongoose are weasel-like (although not related) small carnivores. Meerkats also belong to the Mongoose family.

2: Indri
This is the largest and loudest lemur found in Madagascar. Its ear-piercing screeches can be heard at daybreak from the treetops.

Giraffe-necked Weevil

Aye-Aye Lemur

3: Giraffe-Necked Weevil:
A wicked insect with a delicate neck. The females make use of this giraffe neck to roll up leaves in which to lay a single yellow egg, snugly fitted in its leaf nest.

4: Aye-Aye:
With a strange name, it is the most common lemur in Madagascar, but also, ironically, the hardest one to spot in the wild. Maurice, from the movie Madagascar is an overweight Aye-Aye.

Helmet Vanga

Parson's Chameleon

5: Helmet Vanga:
This bird has one of the most impressive beaks in the world, with its beautiful blue colour.

6: Parson's Chameleon:
This lizard can make one mean impression of a Triceratops, and like most chameleons, it camouflages itself, or it displays its emotions and current relationship statuses.

Flatid Leaf Bug, white larvae and red/pink adults.

Coral Reef

7: Flatid Leaf Bug:
This bug fascinating bug, when in its nymph from, resembles shredded cotton, but once grown, it turns into a bright pink petal-shaped adult.

8: Coral Reefs:
Madagascar welcomes many species of fish and colourful coral, as well as three different species of turtle.


Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec

9: Baobabs:
These big trees have eight different sub-species, six of which are only found in Madagascar. An alternate name is Bottle Tree, because of its huge moisture-storing trunk. This is also the lemurs' home in the movie Madagascar.

10: Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec:
This Tenrec is no where near related to a hedgehog, but is so named because of its personality and behaviour, which resembles that of a hedgehog. It's closest relatives include the elephant, the hyrax and the aardvark.

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