The Loza Bay wetlands in Madagascar •

The Loza Bay wetlands in Madagascar. Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the Loza Bay wetlands in northwest Madagascar. The photograph was taken by an astronaut from the International Space Station (ISS) on December 19, 2020.

According to NASA, these rivers carry oxidized sediment loads down from Madagascar’s high central plateau toward the Mozambique Channel. This reddish-brown freshwater can be seen mixing with blue saltwater. Also officially the , Malagasy pronunciation:), and previously known as the  is an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400 kilometres (250 miles) off the coast of East Africa across the Mozambique Channel. At 592,800 square kilometres (228,900 sq mi) Madagascar is the world’s second-largest island country, after Indonesia. Archaeological finds such as cut marks on bones found in the northwest and stone tools in the northeast indicate that Madagascar was visited by foragers around 2000 BCE. Early Holocene humans might have existed on the island 10,500 years ago, based on grooves found on elephant birdbones left by humans. However, a counterstudy concluded that human-made marks date to 1,200 years ago at the earliest, in which the previously mentioned bone damage may have been made by scavengers

The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world) and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Also split from the Indian subcontinent around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island’s diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population and other environmental threats.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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