DynaMath for grades 3–6 provides nonfiction and fiction-based exercises that help teach math, math articles that connect learning to the real world, and interactive activities to get kids excited about numbers!
These ringtailed lemurs are found in the wild only in Madagascar. (Jurgen & Christine Sohns / FLPA / Minden Pictures)

A Place for Primates

This scientist helped make a park for Madagascar’s lemurs

<p>Three maps pointing out the location of Madagascar, the location of Ranomafana National Park, and the park’s perimeter (Jim McMahon)</p>

Three maps pointing out the location of Madagascar, the location of Ranomafana National Park, and the park’s perimeter (Jim McMahon)

Patricia Wright first traveled from New York to the country of Madagascar, an island nation off the east coast of Africa, 25 years ago. The scientist was looking for the greater bamboo lemur. People thought this small primate had died out in the wild. (Primates are a group of animals that includes lemurs, monkeys, and apes.) But deep in the rainforest, Wright found a noisy group of the animals chewing on bamboo.

Wright knew the lemurs weren’t safe. That’s because people were cutting down the forest for its wood. She asked the government to create a park so the lemurs would always have a home.

The government agreed to set up a park—but Wright had to figure out its boundaries. She and her team spent weeks hiking through the muddy jungle and chatting with local villagers. After years of planning, Ranomafana (RAHN-noomah- FAH-nah) National Park was established in 1991.

“It’s all beautiful rainforest,” says Wright. Today at least 14 types of lemurs live inside the park, along with millions of other plants and animals.

And the park’s perimeter may soon change: Wright wants to make Ranomafana bigger to protect even more of Madagascar’s wild forests.


Wright spent months hiking through the jungle to define the perimeter of Ranomafana National Park (see map). Perimeter is the distance around the edge of a closed shape. To find the perimeter of an object, add the lengths of all its sides.

Example: What is the perimeter of the shape below?

triangle perimeter

2 + 4 + 5 = 11

The perimeter is 11 feet.

Answer the questions on this skills sheet to learn more about perimeter.

This article originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of Dynamath. For more from Dynamath, click here.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    How to Lose a Lemur

    How to Lose a Lemur

    by Frann Preston-Gannon and Frann Preston-Gannon

    Everyone knows that once a lemur takes a fancy to you, there is not much that can be done about it. That's just what happens to a little boy when a lemur begins to follow him in the park one day, and more of the adoring animals join in. The boy does everything to ditch the playful creatures, from jumping on a train to flying in a hot-air balloon to climbing the highest mountain. But nothing works, and he's lost, too! It's then that his constant companions show just why they make the very best of friends.

    The parade of lovable lemurs, and the playful illustrations, will have children laughing, reading this again and again, and wishing they could have a pet like that, too.

    $4.87 You save: 30%
    Paperback Book | Grades PreK-K
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    How to Lose a Lemur
    Grades PreK-K $4.87
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Thea Stilton and the Madagascar Madness

    Thea Stilton and the Madagascar Madness

    by Thea Stilton

    The Thea Sisters are off to Madagascar for Adventure Camp, a wilderness survival competition! The five friends love exploring and learning about the many plants and animals that live there. But then they discover that they're not alone in the nature preserve -- and endangered animals are under threat! Can the mouselets help before it's too late?

    $6.74 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grades 2-4
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Thea Stilton and the Madagascar Madness
    Grades 2-4 $6.74
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy




Here's something interesting from