What Big Eyes You Have
A very odd-looking animal with saucer big eyes
Aye-ayes are part of the primate order and considered to be long-fingered lemurs. They look something like a cross between a racoon and a rat. They are fairly small around 12 to 16 inches and weigh in at 5 - 6 pounds. They have long bushy tails that are larger than their bodies. They look like they are wearing large, round glasses with their big yellow-orange or sandy brown eyes and seem to have a look of surprise on their faces. Surprisingly despite their small size aye-ayes are the world's largest nocturnal primates. It has also been discovered that they have a sixth finger on each hand giving them an extra thumb.
Another distinguishing feature of an aye-aye is its huge, triangular ears. The ears consist of a network of ridges enabling the creature to hear even the most subtle movement of grubs and larvae that live in old, decaying trees.
Another amazing thing is that the incisors of aye-ayes never stop growing, Due to this feature these animals get classified as rodents, Always having sharp incisors enables them to chew through wood, bark, and nuts. Aye-ayes never have to worry about breaking their incisors because they just keep on growing all through their lives.
On each of their hands, the aye-ayes have long fingers that end in curved claws. When walking on the ground the animal raises its fingers to protect them so they appear to walk rather clumsily, These long fingers help them to get to their food scooping out grubs and larvae in even hard to get to places. They use their middle finger as a tapping finger and this scrawny looking finger can rotate 360 degrees around the joint.
Using its middle finger the aye-aye taps and forages for food. This tapping and foraging for food is known as percussive foraging, They are the only primates to do this and therefore fill a certain ecological niche on the island of Madagascar where there are no woodpeckers. While tapping on the tree they pick up any sound within to know they have found grubs or larvae then with their incisors they dig through the hard layers of wood to get to their food reaching inside with their tapping finger to hook bugs on their claw.
Aye-ayes are not social animals all the time and tend to be introverts. They prefer to spread out so they can cover more ground when foraging and then meet up with their group later. Females tend to be more feisty against other females outside their family when it comes to looking for food,
At one time in history within the last 1,000 years, Madagascar was home to a giant aye-aye known as the Daubentonia robusta. Unfortunately, this animal is now extinct but weighted at least 2.5 to 5 times that of today's aye-aye.
If you don't get startled coming upon an aye-aye then the strange sound they make will definitely scare you, When they get aggressive aye-ayes scream and then whimper in competition with others over food and when confronted make a hissing kind of sound, yelling hai-hai. It certainly does not mean the aye-aye is saying hi or hello it means it is ready to flee and has been highly excited.
Seems people of Madagascar just don't understand the aye-ayes and they have become looked upon as harbingers of bad luck and think that if an aye-aye points at someone with their long finger they are marked for death, Others believe these creatures can sneak into homes and use their tapping finger to take out the heart of a human. Basically, they are just misunderstood and probably frighten many with their appearance.