Aye Aye Facts (Are Aye Aye Endangered?)

aye aye

Aye Aye Scientific Name:

The scientific name of the Aye-Aye species are Daubentonia Madagascariensis.

What is an Aye-Aye?

The Aye-Aye is a type of lemur that inhabits in Madagascar. It is the largest nocturnal primate with a unique appearance. When the animal had first discovered, it has thought to be a type of giant squirrel. It had finally recognized in the mid of 1800 as a member of the lemur family. But later on, it was classified in its group by itself as its closest relatives are a mystery today.

Animal With Long Finger (Aye Aye Animal):

An adult Aye Aye is about 3 feet long, along with a tail longer its body. The average body and a head length of these species are between 14 to 17 inches with a long tail of 22 to 24 inches. The average weight of an Aye-Aye is around 4 pounds.

The Young aye-aye is usually silver-colored with a stripe down their back. Though, as the species begin to reach maturity, their body is completely covered with thick fur. The ends of hair at the head and tail are edged with white, while the rest of the body is yellow or brown. It has large eyes and sensitive ears.

Also read interesting monitor lizard facts.

The notable traits in these species are their fingers, the third finger of these species is thinner than the others, which are used for tapping. While the fourth finger is the longest and used for pulling bugs out of trees by using the hooked nail. The middle finger is a unique one as it possesses a ball and a socket joint. The Aye-Aye has also developed a sixth digit (pseudo thumb) to support in gripping.

Aye-Aye Habitat:

The Aye-Aye is native of Madagascar. The species inhabits deciduous forest, primary and secondary rain forest, cultivated plantation, and sometimes in mangrove forests and dry scrub.

What Do Aye-Aye Eat?

As aye-ayes are omnivorous and eat other animals and vegetation. Their diet includes a variety of fruits, nectar, seeds, larvae, insects, and eggs.

Also read difference between ape and monkey.

Aye-Aye Extinction:

Aye-ayes are arboreal and nocturnal animals who spend most of their time in trees. Although they go down to the ground now, they eat, sleep, mate, and travel high in the trees. They have found near the canopy, where the dense foliage provides plenty of covers. During the day, the aye-ayes sleep in the nest built from leaves, branches, and situated in the fork of tree branches. They came to hunt out after dark for food. Aye-ayes are solitary animals that mark their territory with scent. The smaller area of females often overlaps those of at least two males. A male usually shares his boundary with other males, and sometimes they can forage in the squad and share the nest. They seem to tolerate one another until they hear a female calling and looking for a mate.

Aye-Ayes Species:

The mating between these animals is polygynous, which means both males and females have multiple mates. A female who is ready to mate calls males, which gathers around her and fight aggressively among themselves for the right to breed with her. The aye-ayes seem to mate at any time of the year dependent on when the females are in season. The gestation period in aye-ayes lasts for about five months, and one of the females delivers only one infant. The newborn stays safe in the nest and is weaned for seven months. Until the age of two years, the infant remains with the mother. It is thought that female aye-ayes get sexually mature between the ages of 3 to 4 years, whereas the males get matured from the age of 2.5 years.

Aye-Aye Endangered:

According to the IUCN red list, the aye-aye species are classified as endangered. Also, the Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered resource states that the population of the species is unknown, although an estimation would be 1000 to 10,000 animals.

The greatest threat to the species is the loss of habitat as the increasing number of human settlement and deforestation. The people of Madagascar also killed the aye-ayes as the animals have regarded as both crop pests and wrong indications.

The species are helpful in the dispersal of the fruit seeds which they consume, and also they act as essential predators of the larvae of the wood bearing beetle. Besides humans, the main predators of these animals are fossa and other birds of prey.

Aye-Aye Facts:

  • The species generally hang upside down from the branches and are capable of resting vertically and horizontally.
  • The aye-ayes hunting technique is unique. The animals tap a branch with their fingers and listen to the sound of larvae or moving insects. When they hear something, they make a hole using their sharp teeth and scoop out the prey with their middle digit.
  • Formerly aye-ayes were classified as rodents because of their incisors that grow continuously. 
  • The name aye-aye had assumed to come from the ‘hai-hai’ sound, which they make while escaping danger.
  • The average life span of these species in captivity is between 20 to 23 years.

Also read about lowland streaked tenrec.