A rare nocturnal Madagascan primate allied to the lemurs. It has rodentlike incisor teeth and an elongated twiglike finger on each hand with which it pries insects from bark.
- Daubentonia madagascariensis, the only member of the family Daubentoniidae
- Fossils suggest that lemurs, bush babies, lorises, aye-ayes, and their relatives (the prosimians) split off from the ancestors of monkeys and apes around 55 million years ago.
- So do wombats, hyraxes, aye-ayes, and lagomorphs, to give a few examples chosen from modern mammals.
- They open a hole with their rodent-like incisors and extract their prey with their elongated fourth finger and long tongue - a manner of foraging very much like the primates, aye-ayes.
Late 18th century: from French, from Malagasy aiay.
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