The Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) is one of the most unique primates in the world. It has several features that enables him to exploit food resources unavailable to most other animals in Madagascar. His behavior also distinquishes him from most other lemurs. It is also the most unusual-looking primate, but it is best known for its extraoridunary, elongated middle finger. It also has continuously growing front teeth, abdominal nipples, claws on all digits, and a "third eyelid." It has one of the largest hand relative to the body length of any primate. Weighing 2.5 to 3 kg, it is much larger than other nocturnal primates.
The aye-ayes are only found on the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Their diet includes seeds, larvae, fungus, and nectar. They use chisel-like teeth and middle finger to gain access to wood-boring larvae and hard-coated seeds.
The female aye-aye grooms, plays, travels and sleeps with her single offspring for up to two years. Often the young are weaned before 18 months of age, but remains with the mother for the additional time.
Habitat degradation and cultural beliefs are two the most important threats to aye-aye populations. Villagers kill aye-aye in accordance with the local taboos (anyone who touches an aye-aye will die within one year). Aye-ayes are killed by the locals to prevent bad luck.
References: File # 111