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207906.  Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:23 pm Reply with quote

The Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) is a strepsirrhine native to Madagascar that combines rodent-like teeth with a long, thin middle finger to fill the same ecological niche as a woodpecker. It is the world's largest nocturnal primate, and is characterized by its unique method of finding food; it taps on trees to find grubs, then gnaws holes in the wood and inserts its elongated middle finger to pull the grubs out.

Daubentonia is the only genus in the family Daubentoniidae and infraorder Chiromyiformes. The Aye-aye is the only extant member of the genus (although it is currently an endangered species); a second species (Daubentonia robusta) was exterminated over the last few centuries.

207968.  Sat Sep 08, 2007 5:44 am Reply with quote


207981.  Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:13 am Reply with quote

The stuff of nightmares, but I'm sure his mummy loves him.

207988.  Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:27 am Reply with quote

That is so cool. Creepy, certainly, but rather interesting.

207990.  Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:29 am Reply with quote

Is that the one that makes the strange call - hence the name Aye aye?

David Attenborough filmed these creatures years ago, before they had cut down most of the forests.

207991.  Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:35 am Reply with quote

There is a hypothesis that the word "aye aye" signifies simply a cry of alarm to alert others to the presence of this animal, which many Malagasy consider an ill omen.

Just Googled it and it seems that it's so ugly that the native people's consider it evil and tells stories of it creeping into houses and killing people while they sleep by stabbing them with that finger.

Many get killed as a consequence. Humans: love them or hate them; you can't like them.

208000.  Sat Sep 08, 2007 7:20 am Reply with quote

I can't help wondering if the creators of the Gremlins movie got their inspiration from the Aye-Aye.

The resemblance is uncanny.

473153.  Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:49 pm Reply with quote

I remember a story in a Superman annual I had as a boy in the 1950s. A race of intelligent aliens were kidnapping humans as specimens for a zoo they wanted to create. Somehow Superman persuaded them to return the humans in exchange for a collection of animals that he would gather for them. He made the collection in alphabetical order and the first animal was the aye-aye. This was the first time I had ever heard of this animal. I suppose that, in those days, the rarity of the aye-aye was not so great or was not appreciated.

Sadurian Mike
473672.  Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:20 pm Reply with quote

What? No aardvark?

This is a rather more sympathetic photo of the poor aye-aye.

Sadurian Mike
473673.  Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:25 pm Reply with quote


During the war, landed seaplanes in the region of Madagascar would find these creatures clinging to floating trees and other large pieces of wood. They had obviously been holding the wood as it fell into the sea and had no way to swim back, even though the shore was only a few hundred yards away.

The aircraft crew would take the creatures by one hind leg and one foreleg and spin them towards the shore, relying on the light body and flattened posture to "bounce" off the calm sea and thus reach land.

The man in charge of this operation would thus be known as the "aye aye skipper."

473880.  Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:26 pm Reply with quote

eugh Mike - that's so bad it's almost funny

Sadurian Mike
473882.  Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:42 pm Reply with quote

Thank you. I'm here all night.

couriosity king
482886.  Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:05 pm Reply with quote

If that is an aye-aye i say bye-bye


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