6 of the weirdest animals from Madagascar
Madagascar is also known as ‘the eighth continent’ – after it separated from the Gondwana maxi continent, life on the island evolved in isolation, creating incredible uniqueness and biodiversity. 80 per cent of plants and animals in Madagascar are endemic – and some Madagascar animals are very weird indeed. Here are 6 of the strangest species that inhabit the wilderness of Madagascar!
If you watched Madagascar, you’ll know that lemurs like to mooove it, mooove it. The Verreaux’s sifaka, a beautiful lemur species, has a brown and white coat and elongated limbs, perfect for leaping from tree to tree. When on the ground, they don’t walk but hop from side to side, halfway between moonwalking and ‘walk like an Egyptian’. Hence, they became known as the ‘Dancing Sifaka’.
Leaf tailed gecko
Madagascar’s masters of camouflage are the leaf-tailed geckos, taking their name from their uncanny resemblance with leaves, making them near impossible to spot when hiding in the thick primary rainforest. There are 12 species of leaf-tailed gecko in Madagascar – the weirdest of them all has to be the Uroplatus Phantasticus, or satanic leaf-tailed gecko, named after its otherworldly appearance, leading early explorers to believe it was a mythical creature.
World’s smallest chameleon
After lemurs, chameleons are probably the second most famous iconic Madagascar wildlife. The island is home to approximately half of the world’s 150 species – they come in all shapes and sizes, from panther chameleons that can grow to 20 inches in length, to tiny Brookesia Micra, measuring a mere 1.1 inches when fully grown.
If there ever was a scary-looking creature, this is it. The aye aye is a member of the lemur family, a nocturnal creature with hypnotic eyes and an elongated middle finger, used to catch grubs and dig the flesh out of coconuts.
Giraffe Necked weevil
This cute creepy crawly takes the ‘giraffe’ moniker from its elongated neck, reminiscent of a giraffe. The long neck helps the weevil build nests and fighting with ‘rival gangs’.
Famous as the baddy of the Madagascar movie, the fossa is in fact Madagascar’s only predator. Despite looking like a cat, it’s a member of the mongoose family – its prey are small mammals, especially lemurs.
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