Madagascar's diverse ecosystem proves that nature still holds plenty of secrets. After a decade of research, conservationists with the World Wildlife Fund have identified 615 new species, including 42 invertebrates, 61 reptiles, 69 amphibians, 17 fish, 385 plants, and 41 mammals. The island's isolation, combined with its unique geography — which includes mountains and rain forests — has enabled the country to act as a petri dish in which species evolve and adapt. The subtropical island is a "jewel" of biodiversity, but because of ongoing industrialization, natural habitats are tenuous, and survival rates are low. Indeed, many of the recently-discovered species could be in danger. Here, a look at eight new species that make Madagascar a "treasure trove" for conservationists.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- How to be the star of a cocktail party where you don't know anyone
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week