(Daubentonia madagascariensis)Art:AiaySix of DiamondsAye EvidenceOde to the GrubArtblock SketchBaby Aye-ayesPagazaInformation:
(wikipedia) The Aye-aye is a primate native to Madagascar that combines rodent-like teeth with a long, thin middle finger to fill the same ecological niche of a woodpecker. It is the world's largest nocturnal primate, and is characterized by its unique method of finding food; it taps on trees to find grubs, then gnaws holes in the wood and inserts its elongated middle finger to pull the grubs out.
Daubentonia is the only genus in the family Daubentoniidae and infraorder Chiromyiformes. The Aye-aye is the only extant member of the genus; a second species (Daubentonia robusta) was exterminated over the last few centuries.
The Aye-aye is the world's largest nocturnal primate, and dwells predominantly in forest canopies. It weighs about 2.5 kilograms, with the female weighing in slightly less (by an average of 100 grams) than males. Other than weight and sex organs, aye-ayes exhibit no sexual dimorphism of any kind. They all grow to 30-37 cm from head to body, with a 44-53 cm tail.
Adult Aye-ayes have black or dark brown fur covered by white guard hairs at the neck. The tail is bushy and shaped like that of a squirrel. The Aye-aye's face is also rodent-like, the shape of a raccoon's, and houses bright, beady, luminous eyes. Its incisors are very large, and grow continuously throughout its lifespan. These features contrast its monkey-like body, and are the likely cause of why scientists originally deemed it to be a rodent.
The Aye-aye is not only an endangered species because its habitat is being destroyed, but also due to native superstition. Besides being a general nuisance in villages, ancient Malagasy legend said that the Aye-aye was a symbol of death. It is viewed as a good omen in some areas, however, but these areas are a minority.
Researchers in Madagascar report remarkable fearlessness in the Aye-aye; some accounts tell of individual animals strolling nonchalantly in village streets or even walking right up to naturalists in the rainforest and sniffing their shoes. Therefore, it is no wonder that displaced animals often raid coconut plantations or steal food in villages. It is not unlike the American raccoon in this regard.
However, public contempt goes beyond this. The Aye-aye is often viewed as a harbinger of evil and killed on sight. Others believe that should one point its long middle finger at you, you were condemned to death. Some say the appearance of an Aye-aye in a village predicts the death of a villager, and the only way to prevent this is to kill the Aye-aye. The Saklava people go so far as to claim Aye-ayes sneak into houses through the thatched roofs and murder the sleeping occupants by using their middle finger to puncture the victim's aorta.
Incidents of Aye-aye killings increase every year as its forest habitats are destroyed and it is forced to raid plantations and villages. Because of the superstition surrounding it, this often ends in death. Fortunately, the superstition prevents people from desiring to hunt them for food.
Last I read, the number of aye-ayes left in the wild are only in the hundreds.Organization:
All profit from sales of any of my aye-aye art, either original paintings, drawings or prints, will be donated to sponsoring an aye-aye
at Duke University's Primate Center. I also take sketch, painting, etc., commissions of aye-ayes for the cause.
I also have a future personal project in the making that will hopefully work with aye-aye conservation. I have no solid news at the moment, but will post here when I do.
My apologies for the huge post. :)