The aye-aye is a lemur found only on the island of Madagascar. It has white-tipped fur, slender fingers, prominent yellowish eyes, and a bushy tail.
Aye-ayes spend most of their lives high in the trees, sleeping, traveling, and mating in elaborate ball-like nests they construct.
They climb into the treetops at night to search for food, where their bony fingers give them an advantage in capturing insect larvae and fruit.
Aye Aye Facts for Kids
- The aye-aye is native to Madagascar
- They can live up to 23 years in captivity
- They eat fruit, insects, fungi, and eggs
- They live in dense, tropical rainforest
- Predators include humans, birds of prey, and Fossa
Classification and Evolution
Madagascar’s rainforests are home to the Aye Aye, a species of lemur. They are severely threatened throughout much of their natural habitat and are thought to be on the brink of extinction by 1980.
Anatomy and Appearance
The Aye Aye is a primate that is most closely related to Lemurs and has large eyes, a pink nose, rodent-like teeth, and long, bony fingers with sharp pointed claws on the ends that are used for detecting grubs in dead wood.
The Aye-aye has characteristics of both rodents and squirrels, as well as a head shape and eyes, ears, and nostrils that resemble cats.
Aye-ayes have long fingers on each hand ending with long curled claws and a pseudothumb on each wrist that helps them climb, grasp and dangle from branches.
Distribution and Habitat
The Aye Aye is an animal that inhabits the coastal forests of eastern and north-western Madagascar. They are threatened by habitat loss and persecution by local people.
Behavior and Lifestyle
They are nocturnal and arboreal animals. They spend a lot of their time high in the trees. They live in spherical nests in the forks of tree branches and are solitary animals that mark their large home range with scent. Reproduction and Life Cycles
Aye-ayes are polygynandrous creatures, which means that both the males and the females can have numerous partners at a time.
They are able to mate at any time of the year and give birth to a single baby, which remains with its mother up to the age of two.
Diet and Prey
The Aye Aye is an omnivorous animal that uses its long middle finger to tap dead wood in search of wood-boring grubs and is thought to be the only primate to use echolocation when searching for food.
Predators and Threats
The Aye Aye has very few natural predators in its native environment, with the Fossa being their most ferocious natural predator. Humans are also one of the biggest threats to the Aye Aye’s current population.