The island of Madagascar lies off the east coast of Africa.
It is the one place on Earth that has lemurs and many one-of-a-kind plants and animals.
The mouse lemur lives mostly up in the trees, leaping from branch to branch. They are one of the smallest lemurs and eat insects and plants at night. They curl up to sleep in the daytime. The ringtailed lemur is the most common lemur you might see at the zoo. Unlike most lemurs, that like to stay up in the trees, the ringtail lemur spends much of its time on the ground. They travel in groups, eating fruits and leaves during the day. One of the strangest and least-known relatives of the lemur is the nocturnal aye-aye. It uses its weird, long claw-like middle finger to tap tree bark in search of insects and grubs to eat. Other lemurs include the brown lemur,black lemur, black and white ruffed lemur, Coquerel's dwarf lemur, red-fronted brown lemur, weasel lemur and red-ruffed lemur.
The tiny tenrec, found only in Madagascar, searches the rain forest floor for insects to eat. Animals find many ways to avoid being eaten in the rain forest. Some insects, like the grasshopper, have spiked armor that keeps predators away. The orange frog stands out against the green foliage. So do the pink flastids, feeding on the juices of plants. If they are disturbed, the flastids will drop to the ground like rose petals.
The forests are full of palms, orchids and a now famous flower called the rosy periwinkle. This little pink flower was discovered to cure a serious disease called, childhood leukemia.
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Amsel, Sheri. "Madagascar Rainforest Animals and Plants" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2021. January 16, 2021
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