Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) is a primate native to Madagascar that combines rodent-like teeth with a long, thin middle finger to fill the ecological niche of a woodpecker. Aye-ayes are the world's largest nocturnal primates. It taps on trees to find grubs, then gnaws holes in the wood and inserts its finger to pull the grubs out. The Aye-aye is the only extant species in the family Daubentoniidae and infraorder Chiromyiformes. A second species (Daubentonia robustus) was exterminated over the last few centuries. The Aye-aye was thought to be extinct, but was rediscovered in 1961. Six individuals were transported to Nosy Mangabe , an island near Maroansetra in eastern Madagascar. The Aye-aye is more widespread than was previously thought, but is still endangered. There are several Aye-ayes kept in zoos. Only two are known to be born and reared in captivity. One, Kintana, resides in Bristol Zoo Gardens in the UK. The Aye-aye was once thought to be a type of squirrel that lived underground, using its long finger to capture insects and worms.
- ORDER PRIMATES
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