Thursday, October 18, 2007

More Life on Masoala

Another tree frog - I couldn't resist. The frogs were just a lot of fun to find and try to photograph. On the Masoala peninsula they were also much easier to find than the mammals.

There is a variety of HUGE spiders in Madagascar. Frankly I didn't even know spiders came that big! You can click the photo to get some perspective - there is a normal sized spider on the left and a giant female spider in the right (probably 6 to 8 inches across). You can also see the huge fern leaves in the background. It's a whopping spider and her web was about 4 or 5 feet across.

Throughout the trip when walking in the forest I would come across (or sometimes, unfortunately, through) enormous spider webs. They would sometimes stretch between trees and be strung like a hammock, with anchoring ends with strands 2-3 feet long on each end and then in the center a huge web 3 to 4 feet across. Also of note, they have "crab spiders" which are diamond shaped spiders in a variety of colors. You have to stop and take a closer look even if you are not a spider fan (and I am not). Why this island evolved such big arachnids, and why the females are so much larger than the males, is a question I have no idea how to answer.

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