Reptile of the Day: Collared Lizard, aka Cuvier’s Madagascar Swift (Oplurus cuvieri)

collared Lizard or Cuvier’s Madagascar Swift (Oplurus cuvieri)

The collared lizard gets its name from the black-and-white markings around its neck. Because some other Madagascar lizards have similar markings, they’re also occasionally called by the same name. So my guidebook prefers to head off any confusion by skipping the “collared” altogether and opting for the name Cuvier’s Madagascar swift.

Madagascar Bird of the Day: Common Moorhen

common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) hiding behind reeds

Moorhens (Gallinula chloropus) can be found throughout much of Africa, Europe and Asia, including Madagascar, where they prefer freshwater marshes. They don’t only look like a half-step between a chicken and a duck, they act a bit like it, too—walking like the former and swimming like the latter.