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Jessi and Squeaks introduce you to the amazing, unusual animals and plants from a place like nowhere else on earth: Madagascar!
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That's a good one Squeaks.  Hi guys, Squeaks and I were just thinking about all the different places in the world that we'd like to visit.  And we think we've got a pretty good idea of a place like nowhere else on earth: Madagascar.

Madagascar has some amazing and unique animals: a gecko that looks like a leaf, and the world’s tiniest chameleon, and even a giant rat that can hop almost a meter into the air.  How high can you jump, Squeaks?

Madagascar is an island, a piece of land totally surrounded by water.  But just because it's an island, doesn't mean it's small: it's bigger than the whole state of California, or all of the United Kingdom.  And even though Madagascar is part of Africa, you won't find any lions, zebras, or elephants there.  It's hundreds of kilometers off the African coast, and since they don't fly any airplanes or captain ships, it's really hard for any land animals to get to or leave the island.  That means that Madagascar is full of creatures and plants that live nowhere else on earth.  Sure, you may see these animals in zoos, but those creatures all came from Madagascar.

Maybe the cutest animal in Madagascar is the lemur.  You can spot a lemur but its long tail, pointy snout, and hands that kind of look like ours.  Well, like mine, not like yours Squeaks.  There are lots of different kinds of lemurs: you could hold the mouse lemur in your hand, but you might have trouble picking up the indri lemur.  It weighs about as much as a two year old human. One type of lemur called the sifaka has a really cool way of moving. The sifaka is really great a leaping from tree to tree, but on the ground, it has to do some funky moves to get around.  It holds its arms up high and hops along on its back to feet, which kind of looks like a silly dance.  And you might recognize the ring-tailed lemur.  These little guys are so fun to watch. Like people, they're awake during the day, and at night, they throw the world's cutest slumber party by curling up in a big lemur ball to sleep.

Why are there so many kinds of lemurs?  Well, different types of lemurs eat different things, so they don't all have to compete for the same food.  And although there are a lot of lemurs to learn about in Madagascar, there's so much more to explore.

For example, check out the fossa, a creature that seems kind of like a big cat with an extra-long tail and round little ears.  It may look sweet to us, but the fossa's favorite treat is lemur.  So, lemurs have to watch out for fossas.

If amphibians are more your thing, then you've got to see this tomato frog, which looks as big, round, and red as a tomato.  This is one tomato that a predator would not want to eat.  When it's threatened, the tomato frog oozes white goo out of its skin that acts kind of like a glue.  So, if a predator tries to get a taste, its mouth gets all sticky and stuck together.  The frog uses its bright color to warn other animals that it's dangerous to eat.

And even the plants on Madagascar are special.  Check out these baobab trees.  They can grow as tall as a ten story building. Theses fascinating plants and animals and many others make Madagascar very special, and there's no place in the world that has exactly what Madagascar has.  In fact, scientists call Madagascar a hot spot because the island is like a big party of plant and animal life.  If you're interested in nature, it's the place to be.

What else are you interested in?  If you would like to learn more about a specific place, let us know by leaving a comment or emailing us at, and see you next time.