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Proof that this was a beach vacation. Laura laying in the sun with some nice stunners
A fishing boat in Ifaty
Infinity Pool at Ifaty
Laura enjoying infinity
These kids were pretty good at catching crabs. Fairly photogenic as well
Brookesia: One of the smallest chameleons in the world, full grown, on Laura's palm.
The largest chameleon on madagascar (Furcifer Oustaleti)
This guy is a panther chameleon, in one of his many Fabulous color combos.
You are now looking at Laura, who is looking at a female panther chameleon, who is looking at something random
I'm not quite sure what this guy is, but definitely looks like a Callumi species of some sort (they all have crazy noses)
Coquerel's Sifaka: This lady has some Lily eye going on.
Common brown lemurs: These are the best. They are extremely friendly, as you'll see
Nothing in Madagascar is poisonous (except for one scorpion, which just stings you, but can't kill you). The place is just fluffy.
Leaf Gecko: These are extraordinarily hard to find in the wild. They look exactly like the foliage. Our guide in Ranomafana found one, but that's just because he was badass, and he grew up in the forest (Tanala- forest people)
Black and White Ruffed in the primary forest of Mantadia
A Golden Diademed Sifaka
Huh. I think they had a discussion about this in Clerks
All the bamboo lemurs have flat faces and small tails. This one (Grey Bamboo Lemur) was in the Mantadia primary forest.
So the Vakona lodge outside of Mantadia has an island filled with rescue lemurs (used to be pets). They breed these lemurs and gradually move them to more "wild" islands in successive generations. After 4 generations, they release them into Mantadia to bolster their numbers.
As playful as a monkey and as soft as a rabbit. The brown lemurs in particular are incredibly friendly.
Another grey bamboo lemur, this one on lemur island
Also on lemur island
Oustaleti chameleon doing what it does
A juvenile radiated tortoise (2 months old)
Our guide found several of these guys (mouse lemurs, mice lemur?) on a 45 minute night hike in Andasibe
Verreaux's sifaka: These guys can jump from cactus to cactus, pretty badass
Maybe better from this angle
Too good for you
A baobob, 600 years old or so, pretty awesome
Laura next to a pair of old gents
Got the nom song stuck in my head
It looks pretty nice from this angle. Most of these houses don't have plumbing though
This was a lot less enthralling than Milo and Otis, but same idea anyway
The trippiest room I will ever stay in. This was at Sakamunga (the blue cat) in Antananarivo (the capitol). That chair is an insect, and the fish is swallowing a galaxy or something
This seems useful
Indri are the largest lemurs on madagascar, though there used to be gorilla sized lemurs less than 2000 years ago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeoindris).
We had lunch here (Vakona) after lemur island. A Vakona is a big fern that a bunch of bugs and herpderps (reptiles) make their home in since it holds water.
This is a malachite kingfisher, which Nick also saw in Ethiopia.
Striated Heron: activated. I'm pretty sure I had an aliens action figure that did this.
This was our guide, Belaza. I'm going to go out on a limb and say he is in the top 0.1% for most patient people on the planet. He's also extremely friendly and hilarious.
A fishing canoe in the pangalanes canal on our way to Ankanin'ny Nofy (Nest of a Dream, it was pretty nice)
This was our bungalow at the hotel on Ankanin'ny Nofy, an island filled with lemurs and other awesomeness
This is a female black lemur. As you can tell, it is not black. A lot of lemurs display duck like levels of sexual dimorphism.
The crowned lemur was one of Laura's favorites. These would just hang out on the tree right next to us as we ate lunch. I'm a big fan of Palmarium
pretty standard really
Oi, another critically endangered radiated tortoise
This is an infertile hybrid between a black lemur and a crowned lemur, kind of like a mule, but with more lemur characteristics
This is a very small full grown frog, but not the smallest frog as they'd have you believe.
Not sure what this thing is; name that gastropod?
A baby Coquerel's Sifaka! Soundtrack for this one is benny hill..
Belaza, Laura, and Jimbo
I can't reproduce, but I can eat, so I'm just going to enjoy doing that.
An Akanin ny Nofy's native Indri, agape
What if I'm dying, and right now my life is flashing before my eyes?
The Indri's location call is also known as Feon y Ala, or voice of the forest.
Heterixalus madagascariensis http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/331851
Akanin ny nofy
Akanin ny nofy
We never did find that mangosteen.
On our way back to Tana from Palmarium
Laura took this representative shot of the southern architecture
Madagascar is currently in the midst of one of the worst locust plagues its had in 60 years. It started on passover. Our guide didn't seem too concerned, saying he thought that these weren't the voracious type. They looked pretty swarmy, meaning they swarm, not that they are scalliwags.
On our way from Ambositra to Ranomafana
I liked that they had signs up all over the country reminding you to be excited that you're in Madagascar.
We arrived in Ranomafana (Hot Water) at sunset. The park is mostly rainforest and is home to the Golden Bamboo Lemur and the Greater Bamboo Lemur, which only live there. Patricia Wright, who discovered the Golden Bamboo Lemur, was able to secure funding to create a (mostly American) research center there called ValBio.
This is one of the last two greater bamboo lemurs in Ranomafana. There are only 60 left in the world, and the mother and father we saw are the last two living in their natural habitat. Our guide was very excited as it was the first time they had been seen by anyone, including researchers, in 3 months, and it just so happened that Patricia Wright had arrived that day to figure out what to do about the situation. This is the daughter
They had previously tried to bring a couple of greater bamboo lemurs in from the coast so that they could interbreed, but the transplants died shortly after being released (for unknown reasons). These lemurs eat enough cyanide to kill 3 adult humans every day, and we don't know how this dietary poison is detoxified. The coastal greater bamboo lemurs eat bananas mainly, so this dietary difference may be related to their death.
I'm hoping they try in vitro fertilization.
Golden bamboo lemur. These are very rare as well, but are making a comeback from a nadir of 50 to a population of over 500 currently.
Another common brown lemur, sniffing an ingestible.
Red fronted brown lemur on the move
Our guide (right) recently discovered a new species of frog. His cousin (left) was learning to be a guide, and was pretty good at it, seeing as how he found the only two greater bamboo lemurs in the whole forest.
Some local cuisine
These are zebu, for which much of the central highlands region practices tavy, or slash and burn agriculture. They look and taste exactly like cows. I'm not sure what the hump tastes like.
Looking at the three ladies rock formation outside of the Anja private reserve
The unofficial mascot of Madagascar
Laura checking out some flatid bugs. I was way more excited to see these than everyone else I was with
A representative malagasy pooch
A small village in the shadow of the Andringitra Massif. The tallest point, Pic Boby, is the second highest peak in Madagascar. There is a big mirage behind the town. Full view it.
Belaza attempting to put out a fire
A bunch of the rocks are shaped like animals and such in this park.
This is a tomb in Isalo.
The only venomous creature in Madagascar
T Rex. See if you can spot Bon Beaujolais later
This hike was the morning after Laura's feverish malaria scare. She was pretty happy she decided to go
Not sure what type of grasshopper this is, but it's not one the locusts
This is another madagascar original: pachypodium (elephant's foot).
The blue pool in Isalo
The black pool in isalo
Nephilum madagascariensis, the golden orb spider. It makes webs out of golden silk
All lemurs are vegetarians, except for these sportive lemurs, which eat human flesh
So our last night in Ifaty, we payed some folks from town 5 dollars to take us out to the Baobob forest at night. They had absolutely no idea why we would want to go at night (language barrier), but they didn't seem to care. They showed up at dusk in a Zebu cart, at which point Laura was pretty sure that we were about to die. The humped cattle pulled us faithfully to the forest, however, and we were able to take these pictures without getting kidnapped even once.
Our guide knocked on the wall of a small hut, and then removed a loose fence post, gesturing for us to go through. At this point, we realized that it was probably illegal to be in the baobob forest at night, but we can just claim ignorance I think (I don't know, I'm going to claim ignorance about the whole ignorance claiming thing).
Taken with the EOS 550D and the EF 16-35 2.8l, 30 second exposure at ISO 3200. Thanks for the tripod Lobert. You are a scholar and a gentleman.