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Introduction

Animal: Coquerel Sifaka




Why this animal?
I chose the Coquerel Sifaka becouse when I was little my favorite TV show was about the Sifaka.I don't know much about this animal and I would really like to now more.They get their name "Sifaka" from the sound that they make. I think that any animal that can make that noise is really cool. The Sifaka is a type of leamur. The way they get around is really cool and not like other leamurs. They leap around. They can leap as far as 30 feet. It is kind of like a crab, the way they leap, because they leap side ways. these are the reasons I chose the Coquerel Sifaka.

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Research Location
Wow! I just arrived at Madagascar, and love it! One of the first calls of an animal I hear is the alarm call of the Coquerel Sifaka (cockeral shefak). It is March, which means that we are in the hot and rainy season. This season lasts from November to April. The cooler and dry season is from May to October. The people here say that the average temperature is about 21 degrees Celsius (70 in Ferenhight) in January. That would be about the hottest it gets. The average rainfall in January is 285 mm (11 in.). The coolest in gets is in June, about 15 degrees Celsius (59 in Ferenhight). The average rainfall in June is about 9 mm (0.4 in.). The hot and rainy season can be dangerous. Some places are in danger of having cyclones or lightning storms. The higher up you go the more dangerous it gets. There are some great rivers here. The one I will be by is the Betsiboka River at the port of Mahajanga. Of course I will be going into the rainforest to observe the Sifakas, but they do get some water from the Bersiboka River.
Because Madagascar is a rain forest it can be hard to see the sun. The rain forest has five layers. The top one is the over story. The next is the canopy, then the under story. After that is the shrub layer, and last but not least is the forest floor. My favorite tree is the Dragon Tree. I love it because of the way its branches can bend. Madagascar is well known for its many plants that you can’t find anywhere else.
That also goes for the animals here; you can’t find them anywhere else. Some very cool animals that I want to see would be the Fossa and Spear-Nosed Snake. I would also like to see a Mantella Frog. I was sent here to study the Coquerel Sifaka. Some other Sifakas would include the Verreux, Crowned, Von der Decken, and the Golden-crowned. Sifakas are a type of lemur. Some lemurs I want to see would be the ring-tailed lemur, the mouse lemur, the black lemur and the bamboo lemur.
Some amazing things I already know about the Coquerel Sifaka is that it has a Toilet-claw. This claw is used for personal grooming. This claw is found on their second toe. They also have a toothcomb. This is used for grooming others. The toothcomb is a group of teeth in the front of the mouth angled forward. These lemurs also have the amazingly powerful back legs. This helps them get around, because they leap, and don’t use their arms that much. Their arms are good for keeping balance when leaping. They have a strong grip. When they are babies they have to hold on to their mother while she is leaping all over the place



Observation Journal:



Day 2- Saturday, February 4, 2012:

I absolutely love Madagascar and the Coquerel Sifaka. It is hard to follow it because of how far they can leap. Can you believe that it can jump up to 30 meters in one jump! That is a great way to escape the fossas and other predators. It also is a very efficient way to get around the rain forest, jumping from tree to tree. Their alarm call is amazing (it is where they get their name). The call sounds something like “she-fock.” Their long legs help them swiftly jump around the canopy. Their arms are long and their hands have a strong grip. Their brilliant white tails swing with their arms as they leap to keep their balance. Their faces are black with round yellow eyes, and a black chest with black patches on their arms. They stand tall on an almost all white body. They have black ears that peek out of the fluffy fur around them. Their fur is long and kind of silky. Their fur remains clean because of their toothcomb and their toilet-claw. I just love these animals and I hope that I get to see them every day I am here.



Day 4- Monday, February 6, 2012:

Today I was taken out to the border of the Coquerel Sifaka group I am studying. We couldn’t tell where the border was exactly because the Coquerel Sifakas and a group of Ring-tailed lemurs were crossing what we would think of as the border. Soon after that further down the border we heard the alarm call. We then had to leave that area and try to keep up with the Sifakas. I was told that the Sifakas saw a Fossa, one of the main predators that eat Sifakas. The Sifakas then went and found some water. They stayed there for a while and also ate some fruit from the trees. The Coquerel Sifaka is a very cool animal and I am glad that I got the chance to come and study it. The rest of my time here in Madagascar I will enjoy so much!


Day5- Tuesday, February 7, 2012:
We are going with the Coquerel Sifaka around their border. This will take about 2 weeks. I am very excited to see their entire border. They will encounter many things like predators or other lemurs. I hope I don’t miss a single beat. It is also mating season. It is something that is very different from humans. I love this animal so much!




Fellow Researcher Profile

One of the most famous, or the most famous, researchers of the Coquerel Sifaka is Charles Coquerel. He was a French navy surgeon, algologist, and an entomologist. He was, in fact, the one that the Coquerel Sifaka was named after. He was a researcher in Madagascar in the 1800’s. He was there with Jules Verreaux.Verreaux is the one who discovered the Verreaux Sifaka. Coquerel was also in Madagascar to study insects. Coquerel has had many animals named after him including the Coquerel Giant Mouse Lemur.
All though I didn’t discover the Coquerel Sifaka I am like Charles Coquerel in many ways. Both of us went to Madagascar, but that is the only place that lemurs live. I am finding out many things about the Coquerel Sifaka and some things I hope to find out about this animal that others don’t know yet. I am very sure that Coquerel felt that same way. I can’t wait to get back and let others know what I know. Coquerel was probably the same. There are many more things I would like to learn about Charles Coquerel and the Coquerel Sifaka.





Research In Action



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Wildlife Monitoring Technique
I used the Radio Collar to keep track of one of the Coquerel Sifakas in the group I am studying. When we were with the group once, we caught and then put under a male Coquerel Sifaka. We gave him the named Loka.We took him back to our lab and put a radio collar on him. After that we released him to be with his group again. On my map we have where we think the border is for this Coquerel Sifaka group. I will take about 5-7 days to get around their whole territory. Before I arrived in Madagascar others were using this technique too. From the data they got I made a map of where the border might be. Other scientists have done this too and every time we get different results. After talking this over we decided that it was because the Coquerel Sifaka has no set border. They will go into other lemurs’ territory and other lemurs will go into theirs. They start their day at about 8-8:30 in the morning and end it at about 3:45-4 in the afternoon. The next day the will start up again. I can’t wait to see more Coquerel Sifakas and learn more about them too!





Bibliography



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"Coquerel's Sifaka." Philadelphia Zoo. Philadelphia Zoo, 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. <http://www.philadelphiazoo.org/zoo/Meet-Our-Animals/Mammals/Primates/Coquerels-Sifaka.htm>.

"Coquerel's Sifaka." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Feb. 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coquerel's_sifaka>.

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Lverson, Erik. "Coquerel's Sifaka." Rainforest Information for Kids. Kids Mongabay, 2008. Web. 15 Feb. 2012. <http://kids.mongabay.com/animal-profiles/coquerels_sifaka.html>.

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"Madagascar Weather, Climate and Geography." Travel Guides. Columbus Travel Media Ltd, 2012. Web. 11 Feb. 2012. <http://www.worldtravelguide.net/madagascar/weather-climate-geography>.

"Saint Louis Zoo." Coquerel's Sifaka ::. Saint Louis Zoo, 2003-2012. Web. 7 Feb. 2012. <http://www.stlzoo.org/animals/abouttheanimals/mammals/lemursmonkeysapes/coquerelssifaka/>.

"Sifaka." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 1996-2012. Web. 10 Feb. 2012. <http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/sifaka/>.