The rainforests all around the world can each boast of special places, plants and animals. But if there were a contest as to which rainforest has the most diverse ecosystem, an island located off the east coast of Africa may have every world rainforest beat. Madagascar is sited in the Indian Ocean, just to the east of the African nation of Mozambique. The island is the fourth largest island in the world!
Now, check these facts out:
- Madagascar has an estimated 14,000 native plants — 90 percent of which are not found anywhere else in the world. For example, there are seven different kinds of baobab trees in Madagascar; while in the entire continent of Africa there is only one!
- 250,000 animal species make their home in Madagascar — 70 percent of these species are not found anyplace else. For instance, there are 50 different kinds of lemurs that call Madagascar home.
- The island is home to the third largest coral reef in the world.
Rainforest Kids Science curriculum connection: Unit 5: Chapter 1, Lesson 1; Grades 3-4; Unit 5: Chapter 1, Lesson 2, Grade 5; Unit 5: Chapter 1, Lesson 3, Grades 1-5