Aye-aye: World’s largest nocturnal primate

Endangered species, Aye-aye

Aye-aye

Aye-aye

Common name: Aye-aye, hay-hay.

Scientific name: Daubentonia madagascariensis.

Distribution: Aye-ayes can be found only on the island of Madagascar.

Description and habitat: Aye-aye(lemur) is the world’s largest nocturnal primate which measures about 36-43 cm with a 56-61 cm long tail. The baby Aye-aye is born rather underdeveloped and takes some time to mature. It weighs about 2 kg. Aye-ayes are dark brown or black and are distinguished by a bushy tail(56-61 cm) that is larger than their body(36-43 cm). They also feature big eyes, slender fingers, and large, sensitive ears. From an ecological point of view, the aye-aye fills the niche of a woodpecker, as it is capable of penetrating wood to extract the invertebrates within.

Closeup of the hand showing the elongated digits and the thinner third digit

Closeup of the hand showing the elongated digits and the thinner third digit

Image credit: By Dr. Mirko Junge

The aye-aye is the only extant member of the genus Daubentonia and family Daubentoniidae. They commonly eat organic matters, nuts, insect larvae, fruits, nectar, seeds, and fungi. Like many other pro-simians, the female aye-aye is dominant to the male.

Importance of aye-aye:

The aye-aye was thought to be extinct in 1933, but was rediscovered in 1957. They are now a highly endangered species on the planet. As many as 50 aye-ayes can be found in zoological facilities worldwide.

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