Despite being only 300 miles from the east coast of Africa, most of the species found on the huge island of Madagascar are unique to it. Madagascar has been an island for around 80 million years and is home to an amazing variety of life. The most famous (and arguably the most photogenic) of these are the lemurs, primitive primates which were very widespread throughout Africa, Europe and North America many millions of years ago. They were, however, out-competed when monkeys and apes evolved, only remaining in their island stronghold, which the monkeys never reached.