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Thursday, May 26, 2022

11 Most Fascinating Wildlife Found in Madagascar

Looking for a reason to travel to Madagascar, the fascinating wildlife in their natural habitat is as good as it gets.

The country hosts an abundance of iconic wildlife that makes it unique and lovable in terms of tourism.

It has exceptionally gorgeous wild creatures that are perhaps extremely rare, with unique mating methods, survival, and related traits.

Read the post below, which contains the eleven (11) epic wild animals you can see in Madagascar, and plan your wildlife safari trip.

1. Ring-tailed Lemur

Ring-tailed lemur, in other words, Lemur catta, is a large strepsirrhine primate native to Madagascar, with a black and white long ringed tail, just as its name implies.

It’s the most recognized wildlife in Madagascar due to its unique features, particularly the long, black and white ringed tail.

Fascinating features of a ring-tailed lemur

The fascinating fact about the ringtail lemur is its ring-like tail, longer than the body, and its ability to wave a rival grands from their bottom using their tail.

Another exciting thing is that it’s a social animal a size of a house cat, has dark gray heads and white bellies.

Scientific classification

Species: L. catta

Genus: Lemur (Linnaeus, 1758)

Family: Lemuridae

Suborder: Strepsirrhini

Order: Primates

Class: Mammalia

Phylum: Chordata

Kingdom: Animalia

2. Madagascar Pochard

Madagascan pochard or Madagascar pochard, a diving duck, is a wildlife species that live on the water and feeds on underwater aquatic invertebrates.

Why Madagascar pochard is fascinating

The Madagascar pochard, belonging to the genus Aythya, has attractive features that make them fascinating wildlife.

The males of the species possess a white eye, burnished bronze hue feathers, white under the tail, and a white wing bar.

The females exhibit a juvenile brown eye, brown in color, and biscuit-colored breast, while the chicks or ducklings have soft wet eyes, very sleek and brown with an adorable waddle.

Classification of Madagascar pochard

Species: A. innotata

Family: Anatidae

Class: Aves

Phylum: Chordata

Order: Anseriformes

Kingdom: Animalia

3. Giraffe Weevil

The giraffe weevil (Trachelophorus Giraffa) is a rare insect native to Madagascar that lives in forests and feeds on the leaves of a tree known as the giraffe beetle tree.

The reason why giraffe weevil is fascinating

Giraffe weevil exhibits fascinating features that classify them as fascinating wildlife in Madagascar.

One of them is that it is the only weevil worldwide that has a visible scutellum.

Characteristic features 

The insect is deep black, having a bright red wing covering the back, with reddish-brown marks on their elytra.

The males have a long neck for nest building, which is times three the length of that of the female.

The species mainly use the elongated head in males to suckle and battle over the females. 

On the other hand, the females have shorter heads or snouts, primarily to drill holes into wood to lay eggs.

Classification

Species: T. Giraffa

Genus: Trachelophorus

Family: Attelabidae

Order: Coleoptera

Class: Insecta

Phylum: Arthropoda

Kingdom: Animalia

4. Blue coua

Blue coua (Coua caerulea), also known as blue Madagascar coucal, is a species of bird that lives in a habitat with dense vegetation. 

The bird is native to the island of Madagascar and feeds on fruits, insects, and small reptiles.

Why blue coua is a fascinating wildlife

The blue coua is very attractive with its dark blue plumage, oval blue-colored skin around the eyes, black bills, long tail, and large feet with reversible third toes.

This particular species of bird measures 19.7 inches, 48 to 50cm in length, and weigh around 235g or more.

Scientific classification of blue coua

The blue coua belongs in the family of Cuculidae, class of Aves, and order of CuculiformesAnimalia kingdomChordata phylum, Coua genera, and C. caerulea species.

5. Panther chameleon 

When it comes to gorgeous wild animals native to Madagascar, the panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis) reigns supreme, with an array of colors that opposes a rainbow.

They reside mainly in a tropical forest biome, mainly in the northern and eastern parts of Madagascar. 

Why panther chameleon is a fascinating wildlife

Panther chameleon has some wow body parts that make, including five toes fused into a group of three, giving it a tongs-like appearance, with a natural color range that shows mood.

For example, their green color means calm, yellow and red signal aggression, blue shows an attempt to impress while lighter color indicates a willingness to mate, and brown or black means unwillingness to mate.

It also has an exotic pinhole size pupil, tall tails, tongues more extended than their body size, joined lower and upper eyelids.

Also, the males have a white stripe on their bodies while the females develop an orange line during pregnancy.

Lenght and lifespan

The length of an average panther chameleon range from 30 to 51 cm for adults or 20 – 36 cm. 

They survive between 5 – 7 years, 2 – 3 years after laying eggs.

Classification

The panther chameleon belongs to the Animalia kingdom, Chordata phylum, reptilia class in Squamata order, Chamaeleonidae family in the suborder of Iguania, and F. pardalis species in the Furcifer genus. 

Mating habits

The reproduction season occurs between January to May, its pregnancy duration is about three to six weeks, and the incubation period is 240 days.

The female panther chameleon can lay 10-40 eggs per clutch, and the females mostly live 2-3 years after laying five to eight clutches.

6. Tomato frog

The tomato frogs are amphibians that weigh 1.6 to 7.8, exclusively found in the eastern rainforests of the islands of Madagascar.

They exhibit a striking vibrant orange-red color and possess a narrow mouth.

Magnificent things about tomato frog

Tomato frogs have an inflating body that scares predators, with a unique vocalization that you can hear only when they’re active.

They release toxic secretion through the skin when threatened, and it has two laterodorsal folds that run down their back.

The male tomato frog has an orange to orange-brown color, while the females have a reddish-orange color.

They have no teeth; instead, they possess ridges for grinding with their underside off-white color.

Classification

Genus: Dyscophus (Grandidier, 1872)

Subfamily: Dyscophinae (Boulenger, 1882)

Family: Microhylidae

Order: Anura

Class: Amphibia

Phylum: Chordata

Kingdom: Animalia

Habitat

They mainly live in swamp forests and rainforests, in stagnant ponds or waterways.

Breeding

Tomato frog produces offspring in shallow swamp pools, and the female lays 1000 to 1500 black-and-white eggs on the water surface, which they hatch in 36 hours. 

After 45 days, the tadpoles transform into young frogs known as froglets and its adult size coupled with sexual maturity takes place after one year.

7. Sifaka

Sifaka is a primate exclusively native to Madagascar, and it has a body length of 16 to 22 inches, with the tail measuring 20 to 24 inches.

Most recognizing things about Sifaka

Sifaka feeds on more than 100 kinds of fruits, vines, seeds, and leaves, has a white tail and fur, bare face with a patch of white fur at the bridge of the nose.

It has yellow or orange eyes, black ears, and the arms, chest, and thighs are chocolate brown.

Types of Sifaka

Sifaka has three major types: Coquerel sifaka, silky sifaka, and Verreaux sifaka, and all are endemic to Madagascar.

Habitat

Habitat of sifaka inhabits in different environments depending on their types.

The Verreaux sifaka inhabits a dry spiny forest that gets lower than 14 inches of rain per year, and this area is in the south of Madagascar.

Silky sifaka lives in northeastern Madagascar’s tropical forest, and the area receives more than 230 inches of rain per year.

Coquerel inhabits across the island from the silky sifaka in the northwestern part of Madagascar dry forest.

8. Indri

Indri is a species of wildlife called babakotos with a lifespan of 15 to 18 years and 6 to 9.5 kg.

Attractive things about Indri

Some of the fascinating and attractive thing about indri is its long muscular leg that helps move the body from trunk to trunk, round fuzzy ears, large greenish eyes, and black face.

It also embodies silky black fur with white patches along the lower back, the crown, neck, and limbs.

Reproduction

The birth of new offspring takes place after 120 to 150 days of gestation, and it reaches sexual maturity between 7 – 9 years.

The primate lives in groups with at minimum one mating pair, and their breeding occurs seasonally, with the female producing offspring every three years.

9. Fossa

Another wildlife that epitomizes the splendor of Madagascar’s natural beauty is the fossa, a large carnivorous mammal on the country’s island.

The reason why is fascinating

The reason fossa is fascinating wildlife is that they occupy territories with scent from secretion gland. 

They only make some sound during the breeding, an unusual mating system.

It has paws like a cat, a long tail, medium brown eyes, round ears, rich brown color, and a golden tinge.

Weight

The weight of the female fossa is 11-15 Ib while the male is 13-22 Ib, and in terms of size, it is about 31 inches long.

Scientific classification

Species: C. ferox

Family: Eupleridae

Genus: Cryptoprocta

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Suborder: Feliformia

Phylum: Chordata

Kingdom: Animalia

10. Aye-aye (long-fingered lemur)

Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) is a dark brown or black animal strepsirrhine primate and long-fingered lemur, with a bushy tail longer than the main body endemic to Madagascar.

The fascinating thing about them

Aye-aye is very attractive with its slender fingers and sensitive ears with a large, bushy tail.

Again, all their fingers and toes have pointed claws apart from the opposable big toes used for dangling from one branch o another.

Behavioral pattern

Aye-aye eats, sleeps, travels, and mates on the trees but only occasionally comes down to search for prey or related reasons.

It sleeps in a spherical nest made from leaves during the day or on branches and vines while hunting for food at night.

They share their territories and nest with other males and constantly tolerate each other till the sound of females yawning for a mate.

Classification

Species: D. madagascariensis

Genus: Daubentonia

Family: Daubentoniidae

Superfamily: Lemuroidea

Order: Primates

Suborder: Strepsirrhini

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Kingdom: Animalia

11. Satanic leaf-tailed gecko

Satanic leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus) is an animal that depicts opposite its name as it usually takes peaceful naps in Madagascar forests.

The exciting thing about the satanic leaf-tailed gecko

The exciting aspect of the satanic leaf-tailed gecko is its eyebrow horn that is precisely like thorny twigs.

Also, artificial ridges cover the skin that imitates leaf veins and the tail that appears as a decomposing leaf.

Feeding

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko, endemic to Madagascar, feeds on flies, worms, and spiders.

How leaf-tailed geckos communicate

When the satanic leaf-tailed gecko intends to communicate, it does so with humming and barking.

Classification

Species: U. phantasticus

Genus: Uroplatus

Family: Gekkonidae

Order: Squamata

Class: Reptilia

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

What is the most famous animal living in Madagascar?

The famous animal in Madagascar is ring-tailed lemur and indri, native to Madagascar’s island.

What animals are native to Madagascar?

The animals found only in Madagascar are the lemurs, and it thrives well due to the Madagascar Island being free from predators.

Conclusion

With so much deforestation in Madagascar, the abovementioned wildlife is safe and free from predators, and other endangers.

The wildlife discussed is unexpectedly enlightening, and it has some special attributes that make them unique and fascinating.

If you are unaware of some fascinating wildlife in Madagascar, then the write-up above is an eye-opener to you.

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