Introduction: Madagascar (02:06)
Madagascar is located in the Indian Ocean and has an array of ancient habitats, including deserts and rainforests. Islands across the planet are home to unique animals and human cultures.
Madagascar is almost the size of Texas and was once a part of Gondwana; the east side receive significant rain while the west side contains a desert. Ring tailed lemurs soak in the warmth of the sun and forage for sap from euphorbia plants.
Human Evolution (06:58)
The Vezo people rely on the ocean for sustenance; families spend weeks at sea fishing. In Ampotaka, the dry seasons last over 10 months. The Baobob tree holds over 20,000 gallons of water and can last three years without rain.
Labord's Chameleon (05:39)
This reptile has the shortest life span of any land vertebrate. Eggs hatch before the rainy season. Males fight for the chance to mate with a female.
Grand Tsingy (04:40)
Over 50% of western Madagascar contains arid regions. Millions of years of erosion create sharp limestone pinnacles. Von der Decken's sifaka leap between oases, foraging for food.
The Highlands (06:00)
Towering peaks divide the climate of Madagascar. Farmers produce one million tons of rice annually in the fertile land. They use zebu cattle, originally from Asia, to plow the land.
Populations explode and the insects migrate, causing extensive damage to crops. Wet wings prevent flying and the swarm dies.
Two-thirds of Madagascar's unique species live on the eastern side of the island. Tenrecs give birth to as many as 32 offspring in one litter and can eat more than 30 worms a day. A mother alerts her babies to predators like the ground boa.
Pelican Spider (03:58)
This arachnid-killer searches for potential victims by using its long arms to find silk threads. Mimicking the movements of a struggling fly, it catches prey.
This native Madagascar lemur searches for insect larva in tree branches by tapping on them.
Western Desert (04:08)
Divers discover a network of connected tunnels that contain underwater chambers. They find fossilized remains of extinct species like horned crocodiles, pygmy hippopotamuses, and giant lemurs.
Greater Bamboo Lemur (05:33)
This primate daily eats enough cyanide to kill five people. People clear forests for farming. Extinction threatens 95% of lemurs.
Credits: Madagascar (00:33)
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