Surname: Finger animal
Other names: Aye-Aye
Latin name: Daubentonia madagascariensis
size: 30 - 40cm
mass: 2.5 - 3.0kg
Older: 10 - 20 years
Appearance: black-gray coat
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition type: Omnivore (omnivor)
food: Insects, coconuts, flower nectar, fruits
original origin: North and West Madagascar
Sleep-wake rhythm: nocturnal
habitat: Rainforest, mangrove forest
natural enemies: Frett cat
sexual maturity: about the age of three
mating season: ?
gestation: 160 - 170 days
litter size: 1 cub
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: Yes
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the finger animal
- The finger animal or Daubentonia madagascariensis is, as its Latin name suggests, located on the island of Madagascar. Originally widespread in many parts of the country, it is due to the decimation of its natural habitat today only in isolated areas in the east and northwest of Madagascar. The forests in which the finger animal lives are intensively cleared for plantation construction.
- The finger animal, also known as "Aye-Aye", describes a primate species within the lemurs. Fossil finds prove the existence of a second, much larger type of finger animal, which is extinct for reasons yet unexplained.
- With a body length of no more than forty centimeters, the finger animal is about the size of a small cat. It weighs about 2500 to 3000 grams, has a small skull with comparatively large, protruding and triangular-pointed ears, big eyes and a bushy long tail, which serves as a climbing aid.
- The fur dress of the finger animal is long and shaggy and appears in dark brown to black gray color with individual light gray covering hairs. The deep black ears are bald, the face is light brown hairy.
- The finger animal got its name, because it has on the front paws ever an overlong and bony middle finger with a pronounced claw. With this highly specialized finger, the aye-aye knocks coconuts and tree bark at about three beats per second to determine if it contains food. With the claw of the thin finger, even small prey animals can skillfully fish out of holes in tree bark.
- Finger animals live exclusively in the trees, where they build their nests, devote themselves to their fur care and go in search of food. With a secretion formed in glands located in the neck and head, finger animals mark their territory.
- Many Aye-Ayes fall victim to their own predator, a cunning cat named Fossa.
- With the powerful bit, the Aye-Aye can also bite hard wood and the shell of coconuts to get to milk or food sources.
- In addition to coconut milk and insect larvae, the finger animal also feeds on fruits, seeds, mushrooms and flower nectar.
- Finger animals live as nocturnal loners, which meet only for mating.
- After a gestation period of about six months, the female gives birth in a nest high in a tree top, a single cub that is completely blind for the first three months of life. It is nursed by the mother for about eight months, before remaining in her care for another year and a half.
- In the wild the life expectancy of the finger animals is not known. In captivity, the average of twenty years old.