Tag archives for Ankarafantsika
The dental team has finished their work in Madagascar now, and we were lucky enough to have them with us in Ambodimanga (the village where our camp is in Ankarafantsika National Park) for 2.5 days. They were in Madagascar for almost 3 weeks total at different sites. While they were staying with us, the dentists treated more than 125 local people and pulled 500+ teeth free of charge during that time!
Sponsored by The Ankizy Fund (an organization founded by paleontologist, friend, and National Geographic grantee Dr. David Krause), this team of dentists and dental students from North America comes to Madagascar and our site almost every year. While they were here, they converted our meeting area, called “the refectoire” into a makeshift clinic where they could treat up to 8 people at a time.
That animal you see here and in my first post is called a fosa (it has also been spelled fossa). It’s scientific name is Cryptoprocta ferox. It is the largest mammalian predator and top carnivore on Madagascar. We call these animals at the top of the food chain “keystone species” because they act to hold an ecosystem together, much like the keystone of a bridge. (Homework assignment for readers: find out why Pennsylvania is called “The Keystone State.” How does this relate to a “keystone species?”) Fosa help keep a higher level of diversity and (this is a good vocabulary term) species richness in the forests where they live. We only find fosa in healthy, little-disturbed forests and the fact we captured two in one day means great things for Ankarafantsika National Park.