Aye Aye | WWF
© WWF / Martin HARVEY

Aye Aye

Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) A distinct highly specialised species of lemur found only in Madagascar.

Aye Aye

 rel= © WWF / Martin HARVEY

If you compare a picture of an Aye Aye with that of house elf Dobby, you could be forgiven for thinking they were born of the same mother. Which would you rather have trying to help you out in your home?
The aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) is a native to Madagascar that combines rodent-like teeth with a long, thin middle finger to fill the same ecological niche as a woodpecker.

Uses finger to extract food from tree holes
It is the world's largest nocturnal primate and mainly lives in forest canopies. It 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.

The aye-aye’s tail is bushy and shaped like that of a squirrel, its rodent-like face houses bright, beady luminous eyes. Its incisors are very large, and grow continuously throughout its lifespan. The aye-aye commonly eats nuts, and also grubs, fruits, nectar, seeds, and fungi, classifying it as an omnivore. It often picks fruit off trees as it moves through the canopy, often barely stopping to do so.

Endangered due to superstitions and myths
It was previously thought to be extinct, but was rediscovered in 1961. The aye-aye remains an endangered species not only because its habitat is being destroyed, but also due to native superstition. Ancient Malagasy legend said that the Aye-aye was a symbol of death, with some believing its mere appearance predicts the death of a villager.