The aye-aye (#DaubentoniaMadagascariensis) is truly one extraordinary animal. While it isn't likely to win you over with its looks, it is sure to amaze you with its bizarre behavior.
Well, first off - what the heck is it? The #AyeAye is a #nocturnal, tree-dwelling #primate that is believed to be the most basal species of #lemur (meaning its roots trace back to the very base of the lemur family tree). Native to #Madagascar, it is widely known for its strange feeding behavior called "percussive foraging," in which it uses its grotesquely long, almost skeletal middle and ring fingers (pic. 3), its bat-like ears (2) and its rodent-like incisors (4) together to extract invertebrates from tree limbs or trunks. First, it taps at a branch (at up to 8 times per second!) and listens closely for hollow points in the wood, as well as for the stirrings of any potential grubs inside. It then uses its enormous teeth (which grow continuously, like rodents' do) to gnaw a hole into the wood, into which it will insert its ring finger in an attempt to fish out its prey (5). (Being fond of coconuts, the aye-aye also uses this method to test coconuts and see which hold more water.) It is one of only two animals in the entire world known to feed in this manner, the other being the Striped Possum of Australia. There simply is nothing else quite like the aye-aye.
However, as incredible as it is, to the native people of Madagascar it is widely feared and prosecuted due to its reputation in folklore as a harbinger of death. Should an aye-aye point its middle finger at you, it means that - unless you kill the aye-aye first - you will certainly die. Additionally, as with most Madagascan fauna it seems, habitat loss has greatly reduced its numbers, and today it is classified as #endangered despite its widespread range.
Ongoing #conservation efforts aim to educate locals on the truly harmless nature of the aye-aye and disprove traditional beliefs, while captive breeding populations have been established at several facilities around the world.
#MicronPen #Micron #MicronDrawing #AnimalDrawing #Wildlife #Animal #EndangeredSpecies #AmazingAnimals #Lemurs #Primates #LemurDrawing