Aye-Ayes are tiny animals that only live on the island of Madagascar. They are very strange looking creatures that look like they could be part of many different animal families, but are most closely related to primates like chimpanzees.
The Aye-ayes live in trees in nests of leaves and branches. They are nocturnal, meaning that they remain in their nests during the day, and then come out at night to hunt for food.
Something that makes the Aye-aye unique is its method of finding food. An Aye-aye will perch in a tree and tap the trunk quickly with its long middle fingers. Meanwhile, it uses its large, sensitive ears to listen, forming a mental map of the tunnels created by larvae beneath the bark. Once it locates a larvae, it uses its sharp teeth to dig a hole into the tunnel, then reaches its finger in to grab the grub.
This is similar to the way bats make their way in the dark using echolocation. Scientists believe that the Aye-aye is the only primate that does this!
Because the Aye-ayes are such strange animals, there are many superstitions surrounding them. People native to Madagascar have long considered Aye-ayes bad luck, so they were often killed when spotted by humans. However, because of hunting and habitat destruction, Aye-aye populations have been decreasing. Due to this, laws have been put in place to protect these peculiar animals.
Watch this video of a baby Aye-aye:
And this video of an Aye-aye searching for its dinner: