Does Madagascar have the same animals as mainland Africa?

Madagascar does not have apes, monkeys, elephants, zebras, giraffes, lions, hyenas, rhinos, antelopes or many of the other animals found on mainland Africa. In fact, Madagascar naturally lacks most mammal groups found in other parts of the world. Madagascar's native mammal fauna is restricted to lemurs, cricetids (a family of small rodents), viverrids (a group of carnivores that includes the mongoose), tenrecs (the only insectivores on the island), and bats.

Among other animal groups, Madagascar has an odd assortment of birds (no honeyguides, hornbills, trogons, or woodpeckers), reptiles (the iguanas and boas of Madagascar have their nearest relatives on the other side of the globe, while abundant African groups like vipers and monitor lizards are nowhere to be found), fish (no characins, cyprinds, or mormyrids among others), amphibians (no toads, only frogs), and insects.

Learn more about Madagascar's unique wildlife.