Madagascar is a massive island off the coast of Africa that is home to some of the most unique animals in the world. Isolated from the mainland for the last 88 million years, the animals in Madagascar have evolved into forms that cannot be seen anywhere else on the planet. The island is the fourth largest in the world and his home to thousands of endemic species, making it one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. This includes exotic plants, of which there are nearly 15,000 found on the island.
Many Madagascar animals are immediately recognizable, like the famous lemurs who live in the trees and hop across the forest floors. There are bizarre mammals covered in spines, peculiar birds who fill the forests with song, and nasty insects that will give you nightmares. All of these are animals you can only find in Madagascar, but their amazing features are so crazy that they have to be shared with the world.
Madagascar Spear-Nosed Snake
While none of the snakes of Madagascar are deadly to humans, the Madagascar spear-nosed snake has some pretty intimidating features. There are some legends that say these snakes will drop from trees and impale anyone foolish enough to stand under them, but these are just myths shared by locals. The snake is quite harmless, and its spear is most likely used as a form of camouflage rather as than a weapon. Males and females have slightly different nose shapes, with males being more pointed and females having a flatter nose.
It's hard to miss a blue coua in the wild, as their vivid coloration stands out against the lush green of the jungle. They are quite common throughout the island and are at no immediate risk of extinction, unlike many other animals on Madagascar. They can be found in the island's forests and spend their days foraging for food. They are omnivores that will eat any fruits and insects they can find. These unique birds may not look like it, but they are actually closely related to cuckoo birds.
This is not your ordinary roach, which is bad news for anyone with an insect phobia. The Madagascar hissing cockroach is one of the most disturbing insects in the world not only because of its appearance, but also due to the sound it makes. They really do hiss, and they do it for a variety of reason. Males have large, horn-like antennae jutting from their heads that they use to compete for mates. After battles, the winning males often hiss loudly in celebration. They also hiss to attract mates and to give off a warning in case there is danger lurking nearby. They do this by pushing air out of their breathing tubes, similar to human vocalizations.
The tomato frog doesn't have the most creative name, but it is pretty accurate. These plump amphibians have a bright red coloration that makes them look like a delicious tomato. There is a slight difference in color between males and females; males are more yellow-orange while females have a brighter red skin tone. These frogs are toxic and can release a nasty secretion from their skin if they feel threatened. On top of that, they can blow themselves up like a balloon to make it harder for predators to swallow them. These animals spend most of their lives underground, where they live buried in mud. They specialize in eating insects and worms and are known for their distinctive calls.