Compared to the continent of Africa, Madagascar may seem small. But this island, the fourth largest in the world, is bigger than California and Oregon combined. It lies in the Indian Ocean about 250 miles off the southeast coast of Africa. Many of the plants and animals that live on Madagascar are found nowhere else in the world.

Capital: Antananarivo
Population: more than 15 million people in 2001
Area: 228,880 square miles
Languages: Malagasy and French
Inhabitants: people, lemurs, chameleons, and a variety of other insects and animals; lush vegetation and beautiful tropical flowers
Characteristics: mountains, tropical rain forests, and coral reefs surround the island

Image credits: main image: courtesy of AMNH.