- New research suggests humans reached Madagascar far earlier than previously thought.
- The study, published today in the journal Science Advances, is based on analysis of giant elephant bird bones discovered in 2009.
- Those bones showed “chop marks, cut marks, and depression fractures consistent with immobilization and dismemberment” by prehistoric humans.
- Until now, the earliest documented evidence of humans in Madagascar dated to 2,400-4,000 years ago.
by Mongabay.com on 12 September 2018
- Whale sharks don't need help being spectacular. The world's biggest fish is impressive in nearly every aspect, growing as long as 12 meters (40 feet) and weighing up to 21 tons.
- A new study in the journal Endangered Species Research used photo-identification techniques based on the sharks' distinctive spots to discover a new hotspot for juvenile whale sharks around the tiny island of Nosy Be, in northwest Madagascar.
- This is a rare bit of good news for a species that, like many other sharks, is struggling to survive in oceans increasingly subject to the negative impacts of human activity.
by Nora Ward.com on 31 August 2018
- Scientists have observed red-fronted lemurs in Madagascar biting millipedes and then rubbing themselves with the secretions.
- A team of researchers published their observations in the journal Primates, along with their hypothesis that the lemurs were using the millipede secretions to treat worm infections.
- The study's lead author also observed lemurs eating the millipedes, which may slow the growth of parasites living in the primates' intestines.
by Mongabay.com on 13 August 2018
- Researchers discovered the brilliantly colored rainbow chameleon, now named Calumma uetzi, during an expedition to the remote Sorata massif in northern Madagascar in 2012.
- Over surveys between 2015 and 2016, the researchers found another new species of chameleon, now dubbed Calumma juliae, in a 15-square-kilometer patch of forest. The researchers were unable to find any males of this species.
- They also found only a single male specimen of the third new chameleon species, Calumma lefona, spotted in Andrevorevo in northern Madagascar.
by Shreya Dasgupta on 16 May 2018
Nowadays, Madagascar is home to more than 300 species of amphibians and 400 species of reptiles in which over 90% are endemic. This rate increases continually due to discover of new species in different places that have not been explored before.
Madagascar is the fourth biggest island of the world from its size and the origin of this unclassifiable land is in itself a travel. From Africa, from which it separated 165 million years ago, it kept the red earth. From Asia, where a large part of the population came from, it inherited the rice fields. However, Madagascar is neither truly Asian nor totally African; its original culture makes it the only "Afro-Asian" land on the planet. Eighteen populations share this territory of tropical forests, spiny deserts, and beaches with white sand, lateritic soil, lagoons and rock formations. This ethnic mosaic has forged over the centuries a system of authentically Malagasy values. Rites associated with the cult of ancestors such as famadihana, or the presence in the same country of African agrarian tools, and words of Asian origin, are found only in Madagascar.
Welcome to the country of endemism! Madagascar is home to a unique flora and fauna found nowhere else: 85% of the 12,000 island plant varieties live on its soil. The Malagasy territory has distinct natural environments that correspond to as many types of vegetation. The east coast, resolutely tropical, is characterized by vast rain forests and a wide range of palms, bamboos, ferns and orchids. The drier west is the country of baobabs. Seven of the eight different species of baobabs in the world are found in Madagascar. One specie (Adansonia digitata) exists in Africa, another species (Adansonia gregorii or gibbosa) is found in Australia and the other 6 endemic species (Adansonia grandidieri, Adansonia madagascariensis, Adansonia perrieri, Adansonia rubrostipa, Adansonia suarezensis, Adansonia za) in Madagascar with one who is present in Africa (Adansonia digitata).
Madagascar was separated from the rest of the African continent 160 million years ago. This results in the country's unparalleled biodiversity and endemism. Ninety-six percent of the fauna and flora is endemic in Madagascar and is found nowhere else. Covering an area of 587,000 km2, the country is the 4th largest island in the world (after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo), so its environmental diversity rivals that of an entire continent (rainforests in the east, deciduous forests in the north and west, dense xerophytes' forests in the south, and forests of the high mountains inside the island). Madagascar is home to one of the most unusual collections of mammals in the world and has a remarkable diversity in terms of habitat and associated flora.
South-East exploration by train (12 days/11 nights)
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