Species: Daubentonia madagascariensis, D. robusta
Common name: Aye-aye
Todays primate is my favorite primate, the inherently cool aye-aye. As a side note, I am surprised at my restraint in not choosing them before now.
Fleagle says the aye-aye “…is about as improbable a primate as one could imagine.” I would have to agree. The Aye-aye is a medium sized (almost 3 kg) nocturnal animal with course fur, large ears and a large bushy tail. They are native to Madagascar – residing on the east coast. They eat insect larva and fruit – a fact which explains much of their anatomy. Aye-ayes locate their prey with sound (which explains the large ears) then either use their large incisors (dental formula 220.127.116.11/18.104.22.168), which are evergrowing:
or their elongate third digit (see skeleton below). Despite its’ weirdness the aye-aye shares some traits in common with lemurs particularly in the auditory bulla and cranial arteries.
Here are some more pictures:
and here is one of the entire skeleton:
What could be better? Well, how about an aye-aye 30% larger? Daubentonia robusta is an extinct species of aye-aye that is virtually identical to it’s surviving relative. The main difference is one of size…