Friday, August 5, 2011

Meet Matthieu

Matthieu is a Verraeux's sifaka. He lives in the Spiny forest near Madiorana (Karazana's Vezo village) with his parents and his younger sister, Celeste. He is also one of Aurelia's first friends. When Aurelia meets him, his parents are away visiting a neighbouring family and organising a future mate for him. Sifaka lemur, unlike maky, form long-term, monogamous pairings.

Like all sifaka, Matthieu and Celeste consider themselves the upper crust, and far more civilised than their boistrous neighbours. Unable to walk on all fours, they move by dancing and leaping through the trees. Matthieu is polite and kind, and Aurelia quickly charms him. Celeste is rather more vain and self-important.

Typical of his species, Matthieu is a medium-sized sifaka. He is probably around three years of age. His fur is mostly white, save for the thin fur on his belly, where the grey of his skin shows through. The top of his head is a rich chocolate brown, and this extends down the back of his neck. He has golden eyes. His hands and feet are black.

Matthieu's hobbies include playing the traditional game of fanoraona with his sister, sunbathing and foraging for food. He has received a modest amount of tutoring and is more educated in politics than his maky neighbours.

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