Madagascar

An isolated island once ruled by dinosaurs is transformed into a species factory where evolution creates wonders.  Cycles of tumultuous geological and climatic events have forced all animals to mutate, creating an assemblage of the most amazing life on Earth.  Madagascar is a story of survival…against all odds.

Produced by NHNZ

Madagascar is an island like no other.  Lying 400 kilometres off the coast of Africa, it’s referred to as the “seventh continent”.

Every corner of Madagascar is inhabited by lemurs – a unique primate found nowhere else on the planet.  Foraging in the dark of night, the gremlin-like Aye Aye looks sinister, with a freakishly long middle finger.  The morning mist is pierced by haunting howls made by the Indri.  They are the loudest high pitched call of any lemur.  Huddled in a hollow tree is the Mouse Lemur…the smallest primate in the world, weighing in at about four ounces.  What forces created such bizarre adaptations?

With more than 100 distinct species, Madagascar’s lemurs are more numerous than any other primate group in the world.  How did this come to be?  Why did so many species evolve here but nowhere else in the world?

Amazingly  the answer can be found in the behaviour of the tiny Mouse Lemur.  Its ability to hibernate might shed light on the very first lemur species.  Against all odds, it seems a forlorn castaway from Africa may have been able to survive to reach Madagascar millions of years ago…giving rise to all lemurs that exist today.

Alongside the strange lemurs are even stranger beasts…ancient insects, astonishing chameleons, and an aquatic mammal.

But this paradise was not destined to remain theirs alone…

A small carnivore also arrived on Madagascar, and what it became is something out of a nightmare.

Episodes From This Series

Borneo

48 minutes / 2014

Japan

50 minutes / 2010

Brazil’s Cerrado

50 minutes / 2010

Australia

50 minutes / 2010

New Zealand

50 minutes / 2010

Costa Rica

48 minutes / 2014

Africa’s Albertine Rift

1 hour / 2014

China – Roof of the World

1 hour / 2014

Western Ghats and Sri Lanka

1 hour / 2014

The Arid Namib

1 hour / 2014

Madagascar

1 hour / 2010

Africa’s Rift Valley lakes

1 hour / 2010