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The rugged topography of Ranomafana National Park owes much to the mighty Namorona river which bisects it. Habitats include lowland rainforest, marshes, and high-plateau and cloud forests. The forests do harbor leeches, especially during the rainy season, and while they can be annoying they are generically not a health hazard. This is where the golden bamboo lemur (Hapalemur aureus) was discovered in 1986. The steep slopes are also home to the greater bamboo lemur and the grey bamboo lemur, the red-fronted brown lemur, the red-bellied lemur, and the black and white ruffed lemur. Ranomafana's birds include the pitta-like ground roller, the rufous-headed ground roller, Pollen's vanga and the velvet asity. Reptiles include several leaf-tailed gecko species (including the "satanic") and some brightly colored Mantella frogs. The park is also home to the Helicophanta farafangana which, with a shell length of up to 4", is Madagascar's largest native land snail. In Malagasy "rano" is water and "mafana" means hot, and the park does feature hot mineral springs with possibly therapeutic thermal baths.

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