Sunday, August 15, 2010

Madagascar Week - An explanation.

Now, because I have absolutely NO idea what animal I'm going to be doing from one day to the next, I have decided to do a week of creatures from the African island of Madagascar.

Not that Madagascar.

As an island, Madagascar is home to some pretty weird stuff. It has monkeys that aren't quite monkeys; the basis for the Geico gecko came from Madagascar; some of the first coelacanths were found in its waters; probably only interesting to a reptile nerd like me, it is home to boas - a rarity in the Old World. It had giant birds until humans wiped them out.

I say, you really must stop doing that.

Lemurs are probably the most well-known creatures on Madagascar. The ring-tailed guy in the poster above is a lemur. Zoboomafoo is a lemur. They're kinda like monkeys, only a little more primitive...which, if I'm not mistaken, makes them the first primates I've ever looked over in detail.

Now, I'm not a mammal person, but some of these guys are pretty cool. Like hyenas, some lemur societies are matriarchal, and they have relatively little sexual dimorphism (sometimes tilting slightly in favor of the female). The natives have all sorts of lemur tales, ranging from the fuzzy little guys being ancestors incarnate (not a bad way to think!) to the aye-aye, a lemur so feared that the mere sight of one will cause people to burn their whole village down.

This is gonna be fun.


  1. Lemurs are the best primates, my interest tends to decrease the closer you get to the hominid line.