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Did you know that it is said that the animals arrived in Madagascar on natural rafts?

The animals arrived in Madagascar on natural rafts

One of the many mysteries that we find in nature is how did mammals get to the island of Madagascar? Yes, the lemurs, the foxes or the striped mongooses, since this piece of land fell off -according to scientists- millions of years ago.


Two researchers believe that they did so aboard natural rafts that took them out to sea. Why do they say that? Matthew Huber and Jason Ali have run a computer simulation of what the ocean currents in the Mozambique Channel must have been like in the past, the same ones that led them to the big island in such a short time, given that they had to fast during the voyage.

The marine fauna theory is not new. Since 1915 it has been raised by scientists, although there are others who think that the animals arrived in Madagascar via a land bridge that linked it to the mainland and that later disappeared.

The fact that the species were on board tree branches or clumps of vegetation implies that they made the long journey in a state of hibernation in which they expended little energy, like bears in winter. It is known that the animal population arrived long after the separation, but the theory of the rafts has always been hotly debated because the current currents and prevailing winds in the area carry southwest, away from the island.

It is also known that there are no large animals, such as giraffes or elephants, but small species, such as lemurs, rodents or mongooses that appeared in occasional waves of immigration rather than a gradual and mixed arrival.

Ali noted that plate tectonics made it very difficult for there to have been a land bridge, but surface currents could have changed. For this reason, he contacted Huber, a paleoclimatologist at Purdue University who is an expert in ocean currents. The professor showed that at that moment the currents flowed towards the island. His model showed that, in addition, they were strong enough for the fauna to arrive before dying of thirst and hunger. If, in addition, they went numb or hibernating, the chances were greater.

His computer even pinpointed areas of tropical cyclones, capable of sweeping trees into the ocean. “All the evidence indicates that the ocean could have carried rafts with animals to Madagascar in the Eocene,” the authors note.

The truth is that there are many curious and unknown things on our curious planet 😀

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