Madagascar is home to more than half the world’s chameleons including the largest, the two-foot-long Parson’s chameleon, and the tiniest, the Pygmy stump-tailed chameleon.
One of the most intriguing, though, is Labord’s chameleon which inhabits the dry land in and around Kirindy Forest. What makes this animal remarkable is its ‘live fast die young’ life cycle of about 4-5 months, shorter than that of any other tetrapod.
Despite looking like a combination between a jellyfish and an alien, the ctenophora, which is also known as a comb jelly, is a distant cousin of the jellyfish. It's an underwater predator and often eats anything from microscopic larvae to small crustaceans. The ctenophora actually goes back hundreds of millions of years ago and is considered one of the oldest living creatures on planet earth.
This sea creature is combined of eight comb rows which it uses for swimming. It has no brain or central nervous system, but can still use its nerve ends to find and capture prey. While it's not the weirdest aquatic creature on this list, it's definitely one of the most visually interesting.
One of the most bizarre bugs of Madagascar can be found in the eastern rainforests. Due to its long neck, it is called a giraffe-necked weevil. At the top of the neck is the head which features two eyes and a pair of antennae that project out from it. Males have a much longer neck than females sometimes by three times as much.
Males have this longer neck for use in combat with other males. The isolation of the island of Madagascar has allowed unique species such as the giraffe weevil to evolve. A similar species is found in New Zealand though.
Madagascar Leaf-nosed Snake
Snakes of the bizarre genus 'Langaha' are among the island's many impressive endemic creepy-crawlies. In the very distinctive Madagascar spear-nosed snake, males are yellow and tan, with a spear-shaped nasal appendage.
Females look like a different species altogether, greyish in color with a serrated, leaf-shaped nasal extension giving rise to the name 'Madagascar leaf-nosed snake'. Though they are venomous, their poison is not deadly to humans.
The aardvark, which literally translates to earth pig, is a solitary creature that is seldom seen. Still, reminders of their presence exist in abundance as they dig holes throughout the African bush.
The cavities are especially visible around termite mounds, which provide most of the animal’s food. Living up to their translated name, aardvarks do resemble pigs in a way, though their ears are reminiscent of a rabbit's and the tail resembles a kangaroo's.