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The Vasa Parrot - A Better Understanding by Shari Beaudoin

Let me take you back to the Island of Madagascar millions of years ago. Madagascar, now over 300 miles away from Africa, was initially attached to its eastern side. All of the continents were part of one huge land mass called Pangaea, which began to break apart over 200 million years ago. This break up initially formed two land masses, one, Gondwana and the other Laurasia. Madagascar became a part of Gondwana. Only 65 million years ago Madagascar moved away from Africa and became its own island. Madagascar actually has more plant and animal connections with India as it stayed closer to it for a longer time than it did to Africa. It is believed that plate tectonics caused it to break away. Some of the latest information discovered by dinosaur experts suggests that South America, India, and Madagascar where all connected by a land bridge, most probably Antarctica. It was during this time that many of their animal species developed. At approximately the same time of this continental shift (65 million years ago) the dinosaurs became extinct. Whatever catastrophic event that caused the death of the dinosaurs also caused the death of around 70% of all the species on earth.

At the time Madagascar separated from Gondwana, it was almost completely covered by western deciduous forest. Because of its geographic isolation Madagascar has developed it

This article was published on Monday 01 November, 2004.
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