Do you see the red island on the map of Africa? That island is called Madagascar. Many unusual animals live there. In fact, there are some animals in Madagascar that don’t live anywhere else in the world. Let’s explore some cool and weird animals that live in Madagascar.
01. Ring-tailed Lemurs
One of the most popular animals in Madagascar is the ring-tailed lemur. You can recognize them by their long black and white striped tail. They love to leap and move through the trees in Madagascar.
02. Brown Mouse Lemur
The brown mouse lemur can only be found on the island of Madagascar. It is the smallest of all the lemurs. The mouse lemur is nocturnal (active at night). Its big, round eyes helps it see when it is dark.
Indris are the largest type of lemur on Madagascar. They live in families with two parents and several offspring. In the morning, indris face the sun, sitting with their legs crossed, backs straight and palms up.
04. Brown Lemur
Brown lemurs are medium in size and have a very long tail. Their tail helps them balance when they jump from tree to tree. When a brown lemur has babies, she almost always has twins!
05. Red Ruffed Lemur
Red ruffed lemurs are rare; you can only find them in the very northern part of Madagascar. While many lemurs like to eat leaves, the red ruffed lemur loves fruit – especially figs.
The sifaka is a special kind of indri. People love watching this lemur move. It hops from side to side as it walks upright on the ground. When it moves from one tree to another, the sifaka can jump up to 32 feet.
The aye-aye is a large, nocturnal lemur. It has long, thin fingers that are very helpful. The aye-aye uses its third finger to tap holes in wood. Then it uses its long fourth finger to pull out bugs to eat.
The fossa is a carnivore (meat-eater). When it hunts, this funny looking animal often catches small to medium-sized lemurs. A fossa has claws that help it climb up and down trees headfirst just like a squirrel.
The striped mongoose lives in the deserts of Madagascar. During the day, it stays cool by sleeping in a hole. At night, it hunts for scorpions, cockroaches and other invertebrates (animals without a backbone).
Tenrecs look a little bit like a shrew or a hedgehog. When it is frightened, a tenrec can roll into a ball. The thick, spiky hair on its back can protect it from predators. Tenrecs are nocturnal and eat insects.
11. Red River Hogs
Red river hogs live in Madagascar, and also in western Africa. They live near swamps where they can find insects, grass and berries. Sows (female hogs) have three to six piglets at the same time.
Zebus are cattle with a hump on their shoulders. Zebus work hard pulling carts or working on a farm. Sometimes zebus even have a part in a special ceremony like a wedding.
13. Parson’s Chameleon
The Parson’s chameleon is a large reptile that only lives in Madagascar. They can grow to be about the size of a large house cat. Chameleons use their long tongues to catch insects to eat.
14. Brown Leaf Chameleon
The brown leaf chameleon looks a lot like a dead leaf. This lizard spends a lot of time on the leaves of the forest floor. Its camouflage helps it hide from predators. It can also roll on its side and freeze to stay hidden.
15. Big-nosed Chameleon
The big-nosed chameleon only lives in Madagascar. It is one of the smallest chameleons in the world. In fact, it is only two inches long from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail.
16. Day Gecko
The bright green day gecko of Madagascar grows to about eight inches long. You can also find this lizard in Hawaii and the Florida Keys. It likes to eat nectar, insects, spiders and mashed fruit.
17. Leaf-tailed Gecko
The leaf-tailed gecko spends almost its entire life in the trees of Madagascar. This weird rainforest animal gets its name from its unusual tail which looks a lot like a leaf. Leaf-tailed geckos like to eat insects and spiders.
18. Madagascar Tree Boa
One type of Madagascar tree boa is orange, yellow and brown. The other type is grayish-green. These snakes do not have venom. They are constrictors that squeeze their prey before they eat it whole.
19. Radiated Tortoise
The radiated tortoise gets its name from the bright yellow star patterns on its shell. This tortoise is listed as critically endangered. That means it could become extinct if it is not protected.
20. Golden Mantella Frog
The golden mantella is a tiny frog that lives in Madagascar. It is bright yellow, but it is not poisonous. The golden mantella lays its eggs on the soil next to water. When the eggs hatch into tadpoles, they wash into the water.
21. Tomato Frog
The tomato frog gets its name from its bright red color. If a predator threatens the frog, it puffs its body up so it looks bigger. If a predator puts the frog in its mouth, the frog secretes a toxin and tries to get away.
22. Bright-eyed Tree Frogs
Bright-eyed tree frogs spend almost all of their time in trees. They rarely jump down to the ground. These tree frogs are usually tiny and have big, colorful eyes.
23. Comet Moth
The comet moth is also called the Madagascan moon moth. It is one of the largest silk moths in the world. When it is still a caterpillar, it eats only eucalyptus leaves before it goes into its cocoon.
24. Giraffe Weevil
Do you know how the giraffe weevil got its name? It has a long neck like a giraffe does. The weevil uses its neck for fighting and building nests. these weird animals only live in Madagascar.
25. Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
Madagascar hissing cockroaches make a hissing sound by forcing air through the spiracles (openings) on their abdomens. Unlike other roaches, they cannot fly. Some people keep hissing cockroaches as pets.
26. Golden Orb Spider
The golden orb spider of Madagascar is sometimes called a banana spider. These spiders also live in other places like North America. It builds its webs with yellow threads that shine like gold in the sun.
The coua is a type of cuckoo bird that likes to walk more than fly. It gets its name from the sound it makes. The throat of a baby coua has two white bull’s-eyes inside, making it easy for the parents to feed them.
28. Vasa Parrot
The dark grey vasa is a medium-sized parrot with a long neck and long legs. When a female vasa parrot is ready to lay eggs, its head feathers fall out, and its head turns yellow. It only takes 18 days for the eggs to hatch.
29. White-faced Duck
The white-faced duck is a member of the whistling duck family. They whistle a three-note call to each other. They spend some of their time in the water, and some of their time perching up in trees.
30. Bee-eater Birds
Bee-eaters catch insects as they are flying through the air. They can spot a bee 60 meters away. After they catch a stinging insect, they hit it on a hard surface to break off the stinger so they don’t eat it.
Many interesting animals make their home in Madagascar. Which one is your favorite? Please leave a review and let me know.