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Aye-Aye: Daubentoniidae

Physical Characteristics

An aye-aye (EYE-eye) has long, woolly, black or dark brown hair tipped with white. Its head is rounded with a short face. Large, hairless black ears are 4 inches (10 centimeters) long and 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) wide. Large eyes are golden brown. The aye-aye has white around its nose and above its eyes. Front teeth, or incisors, are quite large. The incisors grow continuously, and keep growing back as they are worn down by the aye-aye gnawing on trees.

The aye-aye is about 16 inches (40 centimeters) long, including head and body. It has a bushy tail, which, at 22 inches (55 centimeters), is longer than its body. An aye-eye weighs about 6 pounds (2.7 kilograms). Males and females are about the same size.

An aye-aye's arms and legs are about the same size, enabling it to move easily on all fours. Especially unique, or different, are the aye-aye's forefeet or hands. Its hands have five long thin fingers, with an extremely long thin bony middle finger. There is a pointed, clawlike nail on every finger and toe, except for the big toes, which have flat nails. The aye-aye uses its hands for feeding or cleaning itself.

Another unusual feature is the aye-aye's two nipples, for nursing or breastfeeding, which are placed on the lower abdomen rather than on the chest. Aye-ayes are the only primates with this body arrangement.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsAye-Aye: Daubentoniidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, AYE-AYES AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS