Lost Worlds

We travel deep into Madagascar's most luxuriant landscape; the rainforests that cloak the island's eastern mountains. Remote and mysterious, this little-known region of towering peaks and precipitous escarpments is home to over half of all Madagascar's unique species Discover an amazing collection of wildlife, many of which have never before been filmed. Cyanide-eating lemurs, cannibalistic frogs, meateating plants, cryptic leaf-tailed geckos, tadpole-eating wasps, tunneldigging chameleons and house-proud flycatchers are just some of the weird and wonderful wildlife featured in this programme. Along this coast, every cliff and valley is like a lost world where nature has run riot. Amongst the boulders fields of the Andringitra Highlands, a few hardy troops of ringtailed lemurs make their home. More at home in the hot southern forests, these eke out a living at the top of the coldest mountain on the island. To fight the sub-zero cold they have developed thick coats and can only survive the freezing nights by huddling together in rocky crevices. In this high 'desert', they must eat cacti for moisture. But descend just a few hundred meters and it's a very different world, where dense forests are permanently shrouded in clouds. The Marojejy Massif is the last sanctuary of one of Madagascar's rarest lemurs, the elusive, ghostly-white silky sifaka. There are thought to be only two hundred of these endearing creatures left on Earth. Lower again are the lush rainforests of Ranomafana where thickets of thirty metre-high bamboo hide one of Madagascar's most remarkable animals, the golden bamboo lemur, only discovered a few years ago. It's incredibly specialized, eating just one species of bamboo, a plant loaded with highly-toxic cyanide. Every day they consume twelve times the lethal dose of this poison with no ill-effects - no-one knows how they can do this! In just a few remote places like the Masoala Peninsula, luxuriant, rainforests reach right down to the Indian Ocean. Big and noisy, brilliant red-ruffed lemurs defend fruiting trees from troops of raiding white-faced brown lemurs. Their massive consumption of fruit is vital to these eastern forests as they are the only way seeds are spread.

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