April, 08 - 2011.
Today we visit two islands in the bay of Nosy Be. The first island is called Nosy (=island) Tanikely. Here you find a National Marine Park in combination with great beaches and nature. This small atoll also houses the famous Madagascar lemurs, snakes, turtles, chameleons and much more. After this visit we leave the island again by a small local powerboat and are heading for Nosy Komba. Also a small island with it's local people who are living here around. The way these very nice people live is a very traditional one.
You want to read a little bit more about the species of the lemur???
Here you find an article of Wikipedia about this very special 'monkey'.
As always we hope you like the pictures and please give us feedback in a few words.
From the Indian Ocean with love and see you next time on our Costa Cruises Sailorsblog.
Jacqueline and Adriaan aka Monkey and Bear. Range of all lemur species (green)
Lemurs (pronounced /ˈliːmə(r)/ US dict: lē′·mər) are a clade of strepsirrhine primates endemic to the island of Madagascar. They are
named after the lemures (ghosts or spirits) of Roman mythology due to the ghostly vocalizations, reflective eyes, and the nocturnal habits of some species. Although lemurs often are confused with ancestral primates, the anthropoid primates (monkeys, apes, and humans) did not evolve from them; instead, lemurs merely share morphological and behavioral traits with basal primates. Lemurs arrived in Madagascar around 62 to 65 mya by rafting on mats of vegetation at a time when ocean currents favored oceanic dispersal to the island. Since that time, lemurs have evolved to cope with an extremely seasonal environment and their adaptations give them a level of diversity that rivals that of all other primate groups. Until shortly after humans arrived on the island around 2,000 years ago, there were lemurs as large as a male gorilla. Today, there are nearly 100 species of lemurs, and most of those species have been discovered or promoted to full species status since the 1990s; however, lemur taxonomic classification is controversial and depends on which species concept is used. Even the higher-level taxonomy is disputed, with some experts preferring to place most lemurs within the infraorder Lemuriformes, while others prefer Lemuriformes to contain all living strepsirrhines, placing
all lemurs in superfamily Lemuroidea and all lorises and galagos in superfamily Lorisoidea.
Ranging in size from 30 g (1.1 oz) to 9 kg (20 lb), lemurs share many common, basal primate traits, such as divergent digits on their hands and feet and nails instead of claws (in most species). However, their brain-to-body size ratio is smaller than that of anthropoid primates, and among many other traits they share with other strepsirrhine primates, they have a "wet nose" (rhinarium). Lemurs are generally the most social of the strepsirrhine primates and communicate more with scents and vocalizations than with visual signals. Many lemur adaptations are in response to Madagascar's highly seasonal environment. Lemurs have relatively low basal metabolic rates and may exhibit seasonal breeding, dormancy (such as hibernation or torpor), or female social dominance. Most eat a wide variety of fruits and leaves, while some are specialists. Although many share similar diets, different species of lemur share the same forests by differentiating niches.
Lemur research focused on taxonomy and specimen collection during the 18th and 19th centuries. Although field observations trickled in from early explorers, modern studies of lemur ecology and behavior did not begin in earnest until the
1950s and 1960s. Initially hindered by political instability and turmoil on Madagascar during the mid-1970s, field studies resumed in the 1980s and have greatly increased our understanding of these primates. Research facilities like the Duke Lemur Center have provided research opportunities under more controlled settings. Lemurs are important for research because their mix of primitive characteristics and traits shared with anthropoid primates can yield insights on primate and human evolution. However, many lemur species are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss and hunting. Although local traditions generally help protect lemurs and their forests, illegal logging, widespread poverty, and political instability hinder and undermine conservation efforts. History of NOSY-BE
The first inhabitants of Nosy Be, before the arrival of the Sakalava, who represent the most numerous ethnic group on the island, belonged to small bands of Antankarana and Zafinofotsy. These people were joined later by some Comorians, Indians or Antandroy.
Nosy Be makes its first major appearance in Madagascar's history when King Radama I announced that he intended to conquer the whole west of the red island up to the sea. That plan was eventually achieved when the Sakalava Kingdom of Boina came into
his possession in 1837 when Queen Tsiomeko of Boina's army was defeated.
Nosy Be is located about eight kilometers (5 miles) from the coast of Madagascar in the Mozambique Channel; several smaller islands are located nearby, including Nosy Komba, Nosy Mitsio, Nosy Sakatia, and Nosy Tanikely. The island's main town is Andoany.
The volcanic island has an area of about 312 km² (120 square miles), and reaches its highest peak at Mont Lokobe at 450m (1476 feet); the volcano is of Holocene origin but has not erupted in recorded history. There are eleven volcanic crater lakes on the island.
A female black lemur and her offspring at the Lokobe Reserve, Nosy Be, November, 2001
The island is known for having the world's smallest frog (Stumpffia pygmaea) and chameleon (Brookesia minima). The Lokobe Reserve is one of Madagascar's five Strict Nature Reserves (Réserves Naturelles Intégrales). Nosy Be is also home to a specific colour of panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis).
Nosy Be has a tropical climate. It is most humid in summer (December, January, February). The Tsaratanana massif partially protects the island from the strong north-east winds affecting the region in August or during tropical depressions.
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