Wildlife of Madagascar

composition of Madagascar's wildlife reflects the fact that the island has been isolated for about 88 million years. The prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana separated the Madagascar-Antarctica-India landmass from the Africa-South America landmass around 135 million years ago. Madagascar later split from India about 88 million years ago, allowing plants and animals on the island to evolve in relative isolation.[1] As a result of the island's long isolation from neighboring continents, Madagascar is home to an abundance of plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth.[2][3] Approximately 90 percent of all plant and animal species found in Madagascar are endemic,[4] including the lemurs (a type of strepsirrhine primate), the carnivorous fossa and many birds. This distinctive ecology has led some ecologists to refer to Madagascar as the "eighth continent",[5] and the island has been classified by Conservation International as a biodiversity hotspot.[2]

Group Species Endemic
Mammals 241 168
Birds 287 105
Reptiles 406 90%
Amphibians 311 almost all
Plants 14,883 80%

Pitcher Plant

Flora of Madagascar

The flora of Madagascar consists of more than 12,000 species of vascular and non-vascular plants and a lesser known number of fungi. Around 83% of Madagascar's vascular plants are only found on the island. These endemics include five plant families, 85% of the over 900 orchid species, around 200 species of palms, and such emblematic species as the traveller's tree, six species of baobab and the Madagascar periwinkle. The high degree of endemism is due to Madagascar's long isolation following its separation from the African and Indian landmasses in the Mesozoic, 150–160 and 84–91 million years ago, respectively. However, few plant lineages remain from the ancient Gondwanan flora; most extant plant groups immigrated via across-ocean dispersal well after continental break-up. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit. Architecto est ea maiores tempore error vitae ab, accusantium soluta incidunt accusamus. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit. Porro harum qui illum amet molestias recusandae dignissimos minus et pariatur iure.

Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko

Fauna of Madagascar

Madagascar has been an isolated island for about 70 million years, breaking away from Africa around 165 million years ago, then from India nearly 100 million years later. This isolation led to the development of a unique endemic fauna. Before humans arrived about 2,000 years ago, there were many large and unusual animals living there, descended from species that were originally present when Madagascar became an island, or from species that later crossed the sea to Madagascar. Ecological niches were often filled by animals with quite different histories from those on the African mainland, often leading to convergent evolution. A large proportion of these endemic Malagasy animals have died out since the arrival of humans, most particularly the megafauna. Despite this, and massive deforestation, Madagascar is still home to an incredible array of wildlife, the vast majority of which is unique in the world.[2] Madagascar is a primary spot for ecotourism,[3] with more than fifty national parks and other protected reserves.