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Aye-aye


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The Aye-aye is a mammal that lives in rain forests of Madagascar, a large island off the southeast coast of Africa. This solitary animal is nocturnal (most active at night). The Aye-aye spends most of its time in trees. During the day, the Aye-aye sleeps in a nest which is located in the fork of a tree. It builds the nest out of leaves and twigs. The Aye-aye is an endangered species.

The scientific name of the Aye-aye is Daubentonia madagascariensis (Genus and species). Aye-ayes are primates, mammals closely related to monkeys, apes, and people.

Anatomy: The Aye-aye has large eyes, black hair, big ears, and a long, bushy tail. The body is 16 inches (40 cm) long plus a tail that is 2 feet (61 cm) long. It weighs about 4 pounds (2 kg). It has 5-fingered hands with flat nails, and the middle finger is very long.

Diet: The Aye-aye eats insects, insect larvae, and fruit (especially coconuts). The Aye-aye chews an opening in the bark of a tree, and it digs out insects or larvae of wood-boring insects with its long middle finger. It gnaws on the tree with its continuously growing incisors (sharp teeth at the front of the mouth). Aye-ayes are like a mammalian version of the woodpecker.

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