The Aye Aye is a species of Lemur that is found inhabiting the Rainforests of Madagascar.
The Aye Aye is not only the largest nocturnal primate in the world but is also one of the most unique and is in fact so strange in appearance, that it was thought to be a large species of Squirrel when it was first discovered. In the mid 1800s the Aye Aye was finally recognized as being a species of Lemur but was classified in a group of it's own as their closest Lemur relatives remain a mystery even today.
Today population numbers seem to have risen, the Aye Aye is one of Madagascar's most endangered animal species.
Aye-ayes are dark brown or black and are distinguished by a bushy tail that is larger than their body. They also feature big eyes, slender fingers, and large, sensitive ears. Aye-ayes have pointed claws on all their fingers and toes except for their opposable big toes, which enable them to dangle from branches.
Aye-ayes spend their lives in rain forest trees and avoid coming down to earth. They are nocturnal, and spend the day curled up in a ball-like nest of leaves and branches. The nests appear as closed spheres with single entry holes, situated in the forks of large trees.
While perched aloft, the aye-aye taps on trees with its long middle finger and listens for wood-boring insect larvae moving under the bark. It employs the same middle finger to fish them out. The digit is also useful for scooping the flesh out of coconuts and other fruits that supplement the animal's insect diet.
Many people native to Madagascar consider the aye-aye an omen of ill luck. For this reason they often have been killed on sight. Such hunting, coupled with habitat destruction, have made the aye-aye critically endangered. Today they are protected by law.