Explore wildlife and landscapes of Madagascar on animal planet

MUMBAI: Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and is home to 5% of the world’s plant and animal species, of which more than 80% are found only there.New species are still being discovered every year;hence conservationists are currently placing Madagascar as a top priority.

Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, Animal Planet’s mini-series MADAGASCARpaints the definitive portrait of this truly remarkable island continent. Airing every night at 10:00 PM from December 23 to 27, Animal Planet takes viewers to an island full of strange places and bizarre animals including the charismatic ring-tailed lemurs and the enigmatic Sifaka. The land is also home to more chameleons than anywhere else and the biggest bugs and weirdest spiders in the world. From the rain-drenched forests to the arid extremes, the seriesMADAGASCAR explores the extraordinary wildlife and dramatic landscapes of a fascinating, but fragile, island unlike anywhere else on Earth.

Madagascar is country that has never been filmed in such detail before. It’s one of the few places left on Earth where there are still wildlife mysteries. Animal Planet brings the weird and wonderful, the beautiful and unique qualities of this island to Indian television screens for the first time.Viewers discover an amazing collection of wildlife, many of which have never before been filmed - cyanide-eating lemurs, cannibalistic frogs, meat-eating plants, cryptic leaf-tailed geckos, tadpole-eating wasps, tunnel-digging chameleons and house-proud flycatchers are just some of the weird and wonderful wildlife featured in this programme.

Much of Madagascar's extraordinary wildlife is under threat - from hunting and loss of habitat - and none more so than in the south of the island. Sir David Attenborough said, “We are still unravelling the mysteries of Madagascar's wildlife. How tragic it would be, to lose it before we've even understood it.”

Lying just off the coast of Africa, Madagascar is a land of misty mountains, tropical rainforests and weird spiny desert scrub.The great mystery of Madagascar is its unique and varied flora and fauna – a diversity of life that makes even the famed Galapagos Islands fade into insignificance by comparison. What is it that makes Madagascar so different from the rest of the world? Discover how the island’s remarkable past has produced its intriguing present, like the Tsingy – a series of jagged limestone peaks which have cut off animals in isolated gorges, allowing them to evolve into their own unique species.

An island of extremes, where the east is cloaked in soaking rainforest, the west and south is almost a desert. The south of Madagascar is home to its most extraordinary landscapes – from forests of ‘upside down’ trees, to alien ‘spiny deserts’. In stark contrast to the east, this is a place that’s bone-dry for most of the year – but it’s extraordinarily rich in wildlife. Here only the toughest and most opportunistic survive – and some of the strategies for survival are ingenious. The series ravels from the highest mountains, where trees are few and it’s cold enough for frost, through the lush, cloaking rainforests, down to the tropical coast, discovering the ringtailed lemurs, the jewelled geckos and the predatory wasps. So what is it that has made this narrow eastern strip in particular sorich in life? To know, watch MADAGASCAR, every night at 10 pm from December 23 to 27, only on Animal Planet.

Did you know?

• Madagascar, the world's oldest island, broke off from Africa and India and has been on its own for more than 70 million years. In splendid isolation, it has evolved its very own wildlife - more than 80% of it is found nowhere else.

• Sifakas - The Marojejy Massif is the last sanctuary of one of Madagascar's rarest lemurs, the elusive, ghostly-white silky sifaka. It is estimated that only 200 of these endearing creatures are left on Earth.

• In the lush rainforests of Ranomafana hides one of Madagascar's most remarkable animals, the golden bamboo lemur, only discovered a few years ago. It is incredibly specialised, eating just one species of bamboo, a plant loaded with highly-toxic cyanide. Every day they consume twelve times the lethal dose of this poison with no ill-effects - no-one knows how they can do this!

• Living in the iconic baobab forests on the west of the island are huge-eyed mouse lemurs - the world's smallest primates - emerging at night to feed on the sugary droppings of bizarre fluffy bugs.

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