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(ī`ī`), name for an aberrant primate, Daubentonia madagascariensis, related to the lemurslemur
, name for prosimians, or lower primates, of two related families, found only on Madagascar and adjacent islands. Lemurs have monkeylike bodies and limbs, and most have bushy tails about as long as the body. They have pointed muzzles and large eyes.
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 but distinguished by its specialized teeth and fingers. A large nocturnal and arboreal primate, it is found in dense bamboo forests in two isolated regions of Madagascar. The aye-aye is about the size of a house cat. It has silver and black fur with reddish underparts, a long, bushy tail, and a small, round head with large eyes and rounded, naked ears. Its fingers and toes are extremely long and end in claws; the thumb and big toes are opposable. The aye-aye uses its exceedingly slender third finger to dig into bark for wood-boring insect larvae, which it detects by means of its acute hearing. It feeds on larvae, other small animals, eggs, and fruit, as well as on bamboo and sugarcane. Its teeth are adapted for gnawing and it was formerly thought to be a rodent because of its large, chisel-shaped, continuously growing incisors. The aye-aye has no fear of humans and will strike at them if annoyed. It has been the object of superstitious fear. It is now almost extinct. It is classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Primates, family Daubentoniidae.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Daubentonia madagascariensis), a mammal of the suborder Lemuroidea; the sole representative of the family Daubentoniidae. The body length is 40 cm, and the tail length is 60 cm. The head is large, with a short snout and large and leathery ears. The tail is bushy. The coloration of the coat ranges from dark brown to black. There is one pair of mammae, in the inguinal area. The hind legs are longer than the front legs. All the digits have claws, but only the big toe has a flat nail. The middle finger, which is very slender and long, is used to remove insects from cracks in tree bark and similar places. There are 18 teeth, and the large front teeth are ever-growing.

Aye-ayes inhabit thickets in the rain forests of eastern Madagascar. They are nocturnal animals that live singly or in pairs. Aye-ayes feed on mangoes, coconuts, the pith of bamboo and sugarcane, and arboreal beetles and grubs. They sleep in tree hollows or nests. Their numbers are very few.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(vertebrate zoology)
Daubentonia madagascariensis. A rare prosimian primate indigenous to eastern Madagascar; the single species of the family Daubentoniidae.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Animal specialists from Taipei Zoo were sent to Ueno Zoo to learn how to care for the aye-aye, in preparation for Hira's arrival, Tsao said, adding that the animal is in quarantine, after which she will be caged in the tropical rainforest area.
He also noted that the stump of a broken front tooth would have jutted out from its mouth like a dagger ndash a trait only known in aye-ayes, the only living primates with rodent-like teeth.
The end papers are illustrated instructions for making the same paper hat Aye-Aye shows his friends how to make.
The zoo was the first in the UK to breed and hand-rear an aye-aye, one of the largest nocturnal primates in the world.
* To learn more about the aye-aye, read this fact sheet from the Duke University Primate Research Center: http://primatecenter.duke.edu/animals/ayeaye/print.php
Misoatra - Malagasy for thank you - is one of only 43 aye-ayes in captivity worldwide.
A pair of bamboo lemurs, native to Madagascar, also arrived with the Aye-aye lemurs, and are also available for public viewing beginning Thursday.
Scientists now know that the aye-aye is a kind of primate (PRY-mate).
Consider the aye-aye's middle finger: Thin and knobby, it can bend almost snakelike in any direction.
Duke has maintained a colony of aye-ayes since 1988 as part of an international attempt to save the sinister-looking animals from extinction (SN: 3/19/88, p.
The Discovery Trail has a variety of all-weather attractions such as Twilight Cave with free-flying bats, jumping rats and the Aye-Aye; Seaquarium where you can view wonderful creatures of the deep; TV star Mark O'Shea's Reptile World with its incredible collection of snakes and reptiles; Creepy Crawlies, with friendly animal encounters; and a Sea Lion Show performed several times a day.
Probably an aye-aye. It's a strange looking creature from Madagascar with very scary eyes and bizarre long fingers.