Many scientists consider the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) to be the world’s most unusual primate. Long considered a harbinger of evil among Malagasy villagers, one look at the aye-aye and you will know why. In fact, some tribes will actually abandon their village if an aye-aye is seen passing through.
This highly mysterious creature has shaggy black fur, large bat-like ears, huge buckteeth, and a long skeletal middle finger that sticks out much farther than the rest. Aye-ayes are nocturnal, solitary foragers that spend 80 percent of the night traveling and feeding primarily on grubs and nuts. Its eerie appearance is functional as the large ears help to hear grubs in rotten wood, and its long middle digit helps root them out to eat.
JUST THE FACTS
Taxonomy: 1 species, 0 subspecies
Size: Head and body length: 360-440mm Weight: 2-3kg
Appearance: Coarse black-brown hair with white highlights, inconsistent patches of fur, long bushy tail, pale face, dark eye rings, pointed nose, large black hairless ears, massive round head, sharp continuously growing incisors, elongated middle fingers, curved nails
Habitat: Primary forest, secondary forest, spiny desert, rain forest, dry forest, tree plantations
Diet: Fruit, insects, fungus, animal prey, nectar
Locomotion: Quadrupedal, climbing, leaping
Behavior: Nocturnal, arboreal, use middle finger to probe into bark to catch insects, solitary, urine and scent mark, loud vocalizations, make nest for sleeping, males have larger home ranges than females
CALLS AND CRIES