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Aye-Aye Aye!

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The aye-aye is the only living member of the Daubentoniidae family., and is considered to be the most unusual of all primates.

Key data

Conservation status: Near-threatened


Aye-ayes have a unique method of feeding: A large percentage of its diet consists of insect larvae that live in dead wood inside. They find the larvae by tapping in the branches and listening to the echo. When is a cavity in the wood (that may contain insect larvae), the aye - aye bites through the outer layers of bark to then get a long finger at the bottom of the hole to remove the dam. He also often uses this third finger to drink liquids quickly and to wash himself..

Life expectancy: until 24 years (in captivity)
Total population: It is not known
Regions: Madagascar
Gestation: 164 days
Height: 319,5 mm (M), 305 mm (F)
Weight: 2,7 kg (M), 2,5 kg (F)

Other unique morphological characteristics of the aye-aye are its inguinal mammary glands (located near the groin) and nipples and their persistent oogenesis by lol that the female produces eggs throughout his life. in addition, the aye - aye has the largest brain among the prosimians.

A final feature that is very rarely found in primates is the presence of a nictitating membrane. (third eyelid), that moistens your eyes when they dry out. This membrane can also protect the eye of wood waste when the aye - aye is gnawing on wood to extract larvae.

The ears of the aye - aye are extremely large and mobile, presumably to assist in the location of the larvae in the cavities of the wood through the technique of foraging percussion. The percussion of foraging, in fact, It depends on touch and not hearing tracks.

The aye - aye has a few large incisors, that used to gnaw wood and to access the larvae of the subsoil. This feature of continuously growing teeth is unique among primates.. Also used their teeth as the rodents, to gnaw nuts and fruits of hard shell. The aye-aye moves quadrupedally , both walking and climbing. In climbing he can be very fast and very agile jumping.

LOCATION of the Aye-Aye Aye

The aye - aye found exclusively in Madagascar.

Suborder: Strepsirrhini
Infraorder: Chiromyiformes
Family: Daubentoniidae
Gender: Daubentonia
Species: D. madagascariensis

The aye-aye was believed to have become extinct as recently as the mid-19th century. 1900, now it seems that the species has one of the largest distributions among primates in Madagascar, Although in very low densities. So, the range of aye - aye may not represent a continuous population distribution.

They are found in the rainforests of eastern Madagascar, from the South to the Andohahela reservation to the extreme north of the island in the Ankarana special reserve .

Several populations of the Aye-Aye have been established for the purpose of conservation and from 1986 a series of aye ayes have been exported from Madagascar, in an effort to establish captive breeding colonies. These efforts were successful in 1992, when the first captive aye-aye calf was born in a colony at the Duke University Primate Center. In the news, There are more than three dozens of aye ayes in captivity ( http://www.isis.org ). In 1966, Aye-Ayes were introduced on the island of Nosy Mangabe, located in Antongil Bay on the shield east of Madagascar. At that moment, the island was declared a Special Reserve by the Government of Madagascar and still serves as an important conservation site.

Habitat Del A-A

The Aye-woes are well adapted to different types of habitat. They are typically found in the eastern rainforest of Madagascar, low deciduous forest, forest near the sea, degraded secondary forest and cultivated areas, as the plantations (including those for the production of sugar cane, coconut and clove). The aye - aye also can live in scrubland in dry forest and mangrove swamps.

Aye-Ayes build their nests in the high canopy of trees and therefore require habitats containing trees suitable for this purpose. Sightings of aye ayes have also occurred at surprising distances from the nearest forest, in the Savannah a few 3 miles from any kind of wooded area.

Since the distribution of the aye - aye spread along the East coast of the island to the northern areas and on the West Coast, There are many different temperatures and the amount of rainfall in the range aye - aye. In Northern Madagascar, the aye - aye living in areas with windy winters, hot, dry summers and hot, humid summers. In the South of the island, the climate is tropical and less dry in the Eastern jungles, where it rains throughout the year .

There is no record of the aye-aye in the thorny desert areas of southwestern Madagascar..

The Aye-woes can also live in a variety of altitudes, ranging from sea level to the top 1875 m above sea level.

ECOLOGY of the Aye-Aye Aye

The Aye ayes feed on seeds, nectar, fungi and insect larvae. They are omnivores and their choice of food varies with habitat type and food availability.. Also it has been observed eating walnuts, Ramy (Canarium madagascariensis),a product of hard-shelled tree similarly to a walnut ramy, In addition to litchi and mango fruit.

The aye-aye is nocturnal and sleeps in a tree nest during the day. The emergence of the nest for a start of activity can begin as early as 30 minutes before the sunset and the aye - aye cannot return to their nest until the sun comes up in the morning.

The nocturnal activity of a typical male begins before that of a female and in the course of nocturnal activity, more than the 50% time of the aye - aye spend moving.

Other important activities carried out by the aye-aye during their period of activity are feeding, the toilet and the rest. In periods of rest, the aye - aye remain sedentary but fully aware of their environment. These rest periods can last up to two hours..

The Aye-aye nests tend to be oval and placed very high in the treetops of, forks of trees and the ball. In a study, the height of these nests in the trees were at an average of 17,6 m. They have approximately 15 wide opening at one end. Each aye - aye used several nests, observing cases of individuals that had used up to seven different nests in a period of four weeks.. Different aye-woes may use the same nest in different nights, and nests can be abandoned and then repaired and reused.

The only potential non-human predator for the aye-aye is the pit (Fossa (animal)), a large mammalian predator adapted for movement, both arboreal and terrestrial. Some inhabitants of Madagascar Aye-Ayes as harbingers of bad luck come and kill them on the spot. This belief makes human beings the main predators of the aye - aye.

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