Monday, September 12, 2011

The Aye-Aye





This animal's name is only the first highly peculiar thing about it.  It's a type of lemur that originates in Madagascar, and uses its long middle finger to pull grubs out of small holes in trees to forage for its food.  This middle finger is similar to the usage of a woodpecker beak, and it was adapted to give the animal an advantage in finding food for survival.  Now let's take a look at this quite peculiar creature:


Scary.  This animal sort of looks like it crawled out of my nightmares.  It's skinny, scraggly, long-nailed, long-eared, and googly-eyed.  It resembles a rabid squirrel- certainly not cute, but certainly peculiar and intriguing.


You're not the only one that might be creeped out by this nocturnal animal.  It is often killed in Madagascar because of rampant superstitions there, which has resulted in its decreased numbers in the past few decades  (What do you know- another peculiar animal that's endangered).  Because the aye-aye displays an unusual degree of fearlessness around humans, people are more scared of it.  A native group called the Sakalava believe that the animal enters houses through the roofs at night and murders its sleeping members by using its elongated skeleton-like middle finger to cut the aortic vein.  Another superstition is that the aye-aye appears right before a villager dies, and the only way to stop the death of the villager is to kill the aye-aye.  Those native villagers have a valid reason to be suspicious and afraid of the aye-aye- I would probably view it as an omen, too.

Here's a short video that shows an up-close image of the creepy skeleton finger and documents the aye-aye's process for finding food. Grubs- tasty, and nutritious!

http://www.arkive.org/aye-aye/daubentonia-madagascariensis/video-08d.html

20 comments:

  1. hahahah first photo looks like me after partying all night. aye aye aye aye

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  2. First photo is unreal looking haha, it's great. Nice pictures dude.

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  3. Kinda cute, i would have one as a pet

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  4. Wow that's ugly.
    Come check me out =) alphabetalife.blogspot.com

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  5. I remember this animal from my childhood and the explanation of the name "aye aye = there it is"

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  6. Poor thing, at least efforts are being made to save the creature.

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  7. loooks freaky! O_O

    pretty interesting though!

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  8. I think if i was an animal, i would be an aye-aye.

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  9. Looks like my ex mother in law hahaha

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  10. looks like a bat / rat creepy to say the least
    +followed

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  11. I'm not sure if I should pity the animal or be scared of it.

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