Observations on the Physical Geography and Geology of Madagascar

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ALTHOUGH Madagascar is known to be the third largest island in the world, its actual size and extent is not very generally understood. It is easy to see how misconception on this point arises, for in maps the island is usually seen only in connection with Africa, and that great continent is so large that it dwarfs by comparison with itself everything in its near neighbourhood, so that the really large island sheltering under its southeastern side appears but an inconsiderable appendage to its vast neighbour. If, however, we take a good-sized map of Madagascar, and put by its side the outline, to the same scale, of another country with whose dimensions we are familiar, such, for instance, as England, we begin to realise how important an island it is as regards size, being nearly 1,000 miles long1 by about 250 in average breadth, so that it is nearly four times as large as England and Wales.

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SIBREE, J. Observations on the Physical Geography and Geology of Madagascar . Nature 20, 368–372 (1879) doi:10.1038/020368a0

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