Mini Quiz on Madagascar
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OVERVIEW OF MADAGASCAR
Madagascar is an island located off the eastern coast of southern Africa in the Indian Ocean. As the world's fourth largest island, Madagascar is a little larger than France but slightly smaller than the state of Texas.
Madagascar has been isolated from Africa for over 150 million years. For this reason, most of the plants and animals found on the island exist nowhere else on Earth.
Due to its remoteness, Madagascar was not settled by humans until around 2000 years ago. The first Malagasy -- the name for the people of the island -- are descended from Indonesians who made their way across the Indian Ocean. Arabs and Africans arrived later and made important contributions to the unique cultural practices found on the island.
After a period marked by the presence of pirates along the eastern coast, Madagascar was colonized by the French in the late 19th century. Madagascar won its independence in 1960 and today is a democratic state.
About 75% of Madagascar's species are endemic, meaning they live nowhere else in the world. The island is home to strange animals including lemurs (a group of primates), tenrecs (similar to spiny hedgehogs), brightly colored chameleons, the puma-like fossa, and a variety of other creatures. Sadly, due to habitat destruction and hunting, many of Madagascar's unique animals are today threatened with extinction.
Now it's time to see what you've learned about Madagascar.
- Madagascar is the _________ largest island in the world.
- Madagascar is an island in the ____________ Ocean off the coast of ______________.
- Madagascar was a colony of ______________.
- True or false. Pirates once controlled the waters around parts of Madagascar.
- The people of Madagascar are called the _______________.
- Lemurs are _____________, related to monkeys and apes.
- ____________ are lizards that have the ability to change colors.
- 75% of Madagascar's animals are ______________, meaning they are found no place else on Earth.
- True or false. The rosy periwinkle plant has been used to cure cancer.
- True or false. Cactus are naturally found in the spiny forest of Madagascar.
- True or false. The baobab tree stores water in its trunk.
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