Let’s talk about the Aye Aye, a rare mammal that is in danger of extinction and that is related to traditions and superstitions.
In the places where it lives it is believed that the Aye Aye is a representation of evil and for that reason if it is found one must be killed. As you can imagine this has contributed to a considerable decrease in the number of specimens.
Main characteristics of the Aye Aye
The Aye Aye is a lemur that is related to primates, chimpanzees and apes. Its appearance is so peculiar that it is considered one of the rarest mammals in the world.
The coat of this animal, unlike other lemurs, is abundant, is black on most of the body and the head has a color that usually turns to dark gray.
Their teeth, which are thin and very sharp, never stop growing, so these animals in their natural habitat must constantly gnaw so that their teeth can be kept at a size that is adequate and does not affect their health or diet. Yes, something very similar to what squirrels do.
Another interesting feature of this rare species of animals is that its fingers are not the same. The middle finger is a few inches longer than the others. This difference is what makes it easier to get food.
Although most primates perform better in the daytime, this lemur is nocturnal. Night is not an impediment for it because its senses of sight and smell are very well sharpened and make it easier for it to survive.
If we talk about its behavior we have that this rare mammal is considered a peaceful animal. However, they are also known to be territorial.
Although they are usually in groups, sometimes they separate to look for their food and after they get it they join their family again.
It has also been shown that these lemurs emit vocal sounds to communicate with each other, but despite many studies it has not been possible to clarify what all these vocalizations mean.
Habitat and Geographical Distribution
The Aye Aye spend most of their time in nests built mainly in trees, as that is where they feel safe.
Their natural habitat is in very warm regions of the forest and they can be found there at any time of the year.
Their geographical distribution is limited to the island of Madagascar. Although they tend to live mainly in the eastern part of the island, studies show that they are scattered throughout its territory.
Diet and Eating Habits
The Aye Aye is an omnivorous mammal that spends as many hours as possible at night searching for its food which is mainly larvae.
As mentioned before, the Aye Aye has the middle finger of its longest hands, something it uses to its advantage. This rather cunning animal uses its middle finger to get the larvae out of hiding places.
Each night they are able to travel one or two miles to consume as much food as possible. When it doesn’t get larvae it feeds on fungi and flowers.
In the rainy season they can feed on fruits and nuts, because in that season it is difficult to find larvae to turn into their prey.
Facts about Aye Aye Reproduction
When they enter the mating season, the males become aggressive, irritable and fight each other in order to mate with as many females as possible.
At this time, the male and female spend all day and night together.
Aye Aye mothers have a very beautiful maternal instinct, as they are in charge of helping their young to survive in the middle of the forest and keeping them safe from the dangers they encounter there.
Since the mothers have their babies, they feed them, play with them and teach them how to get their own food.
What are its predators?
One of the top predators of the Aye Aye lives in the forests of Madagascar, the pit, a mammal that looks very much like a cat.
In addition, several kinds of snakes are found in the trees that feed on these small animals.
Also, dogs trained for hunting are counted as predators of the Aye Aye.
The Aye Aye lemurs are in danger of extinction and the main cause is humans who, unfortunately, have already taken it upon themselves to massively destroy the habitat of these rare mammals by cutting down trees for agricultural purposes.
Furthermore, as we mentioned at the beginning because the Aye Aye is considered to be the representation of evil, many inhabitants of the areas where it is located are responsible for killing any specimen they see.