In the early times of their intercourse with Madagascar, the Arabs had a very powerful influence upon the Malagasy.
All the Malagasy lemurs, which agree in the structure of the internal ear, are now included in the family Lemuridae, confined to Madagascar and the Comoro Islands, which comprises the great majority of the group. The other families are the Nycticebidae, common to tropical Asia and Africa, and the Tarsiidae, restricted to the Malay countries.
Some of the Malagasy avifauna is certainly ancient, aboriginal, and even points to India; other forms indicate clearly their African FIG.
Further, it is the opinion of competent ornithologists that there is affinity of the Australian emeus and cassowaries with the New Zealand moas and with the Malagasy Aepyornis.
In 1837 Tsiomeko, chief tainess of one of the numerous divisions of the western Malagasy known under the common name of Sakalava, was expelled by the Hova and fled to Nossi-be and Nossi-komba.