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RARE, HARMLESS CREATURE THREATENED BY SUPERSTITION

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Posted by abeodbart March 30, 2010 at 11:20 am

aye aye

“Although the aye-aye weighs a mere 4 pounds in the wild, this tiny animal is viewed as the harbinger of death by locals in Madagascar, the only place on Earth where you’ll find these creatures in nature.

According to legend, the aye-aye, with its dark eyes, long fingers and ghoulish appearance, is thought to sneak into the dwellings of nearby villagers and use its middle finger — considerably longer than its other fingers — to pierce the hearts of sleeping humans.

In fact, the animal uses its middle finger to find and harvest insect larvae in trees. It prowls at night, tapping its finger rapidly against tree branches to listen for hollowed-out pockets in the wood that hold grubs.

The aye-aye then chews an opening in the wood and claws out the grub with its long middle finger.

Superstitions around the aye-aye may have developed because it is apparently unafraid of humans. It will even walk right up to human passersby to take a closer look. The aye-aye’s reputation is, of course, entirely unfounded. However, because of the way the aye-aye is perceived, this perfectly harmless creature is often killed on sight.”

Read more at Discovery News

COMMENTS
March 30, 2010 at 11:23 am
JayKay says:

I love aye ayes. That makes me sad. Hoomans are just pants.


March 30, 2010 at 11:23 am

There’s also some great stuff about the aye-aye in “Last Chance To See”. It’s mentioned in the original radio series, the book and the recent TV version.


March 30, 2010 at 11:29 am
Judith says:

I remember watching a documentary about the aye-aye and seeing how people kill them. Made me sad then and makes me sad now – it’s a shame that even today people let superstition and unfounded beliefs make them act in ridiculous and cruel ways. Poor little guys, I don’t think they’re creepy anyway I think they’re quite cute.


March 30, 2010 at 11:45 am
Ellika says:

It’s beautiful…


March 30, 2010 at 11:52 am
Simon says:

Well, of all the superstitions it’s probably one of the more understandable. At least this ghoul exists and looks something like vampire spawn.. but the poor Aye-Aye (as a geordie I find it doubly poignant)! Attenborough has mentioned it before, and I’ve since come around to its uncommon looks. Once you ‘get it’ it’s got a kind of cute little lazy-Yoda thing happening; that it walks up to humans unafraid does nothing to dispel that image, much like it obviously reinforces a completely opposite view.
We gotta educate some folk… fly out Attenborough, STAT! He’ll settle the score!

*waves an “I <3 the Aye-Aye" flag*


March 30, 2010 at 11:55 am
ReliegiousMarie says:

AAAahwwwWhh??…soo sympathise with the poor little thing…

idiotic beliefs!


March 30, 2010 at 12:10 pm
Jess xxx says:

Have you ever wondered why we’re the only species that fears things because they look scary, not because they’re a threat to us?


March 30, 2010 at 12:19 pm
JibJIB says:

Bloody superstitions!!!!!!


March 30, 2010 at 12:23 pm
Jenny Vuong says:

Theyd be good as pets i reckon!
harmless, small and cute.


March 30, 2010 at 12:47 pm
Tony says:

How sad that people can still be so ignorant in this day and age. I first read about the Aye-Aye in Douglas Adams and Mark Cawardine’s “Last Chance to See” about 20 years ago which was followed up recently by Stephen Fry on TV.


March 30, 2010 at 1:34 pm
TurboCretin says:

Hmm. Harmless creature, no fear of humans….dodo, anyone?


March 30, 2010 at 2:25 pm

We have aye-ayes in Bristol zoo, they’re lovely & fascinating animals.


March 30, 2010 at 2:36 pm
Gumbleflump says:

Aye-aye I thought, this story is surely going to be about Derren, but no, although I heard his middle fingers are considerably longer than his other fingers too ;-)


March 30, 2010 at 4:40 pm
Alex Guy says:

Shame…it’s kinda cute really


March 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm
roz says:

aye aye aye…

(well, somebody hadda say it!)

as stevie wonder once sang, “when ya believe in things ya dont unnerstand, ya suffer…superstition aint the way.”


March 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm

That’s just awful…..

LC x


April 1, 2010 at 10:48 pm
StickyBug says:

Awww, poor little chaps. Why can’t they just be left alone? We could set up a support group called STAAN, Save The Aye-Ayes Now! xXx


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