Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Madagascar's unique plants and animals

Madagascar (red), off the southeast coast of Africa. Via Wikimedia Commons. 
First off, you know what Madagascar is right? You might think you do, but you never will. But I'll give you some information on this tropical land. Let's start off with its unique plants. Now when you think of a tree, you probably think green leaves and a long thick trunk. Well, this tree has green leaves, but it's not your average everyday trunk. This tree is known as the baobab tree

The baobab tree is the strangest tree you'll ever look at. Its giant barrel-like trunk is more than four feet in diameter! You wouldn't want one of these to fall on your house, that's for sure. The main reason baobabs are so porky is because their huge trunks are used to store water. 

A fat baobab. Via Wikimedia Commons.
Now that you know a little bit about Madagascar's plants, let's move on to the animals. How about the aye-aye? The aye-aye is a nocturnal primate. It has long fingers (Ed. note: for finding food), estimated at two inches or more. The aye-aye was once hunted and killed for its bizarre appearance (Ed. note: It still is).

Despite its bad hairdo and its long black boney fingers, the aye-aye is an extremely interesting creature. This aye-aye was photographed in a tree at night searching for fruit.

An aye-aye at night. Via Wikimedia Commons.
By XXScience Jr contributor Rabid Shrimp.

Ed note: We just finished watching a great documentary series about Madagascar, called Wild Madagascar. Highly recommended. 

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