Meet the aye-aye to appreciate their amazing adaptations!

Enter the night-time world of the Aye-aye House and see if you can spot the animal that fascinated Gerald Durrell enough to write a book about it!

Aye-ayes are lemurs but look nothing like their relatives. With big eyes and ears that move independently to sense even the slightest noise in the darkness, aye-ayes use their extra long skeletal middle finger to find food by tapping logs and listening for the sound of bugs inside.

Aye-aye at Jersey Zoo
Animal facts

Key facts about the aye-aye

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I’m found inMadagascar

Aye-ayes are the largest nocturnal primate and live in the tropical forests of Madagascar

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My favourite food is insects

Aye-ayes are omnivores and eat insects, nuts and the nectar from certain plants

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I was believed to be an omen of death

Their unusual appearance made some people believe aye-ayes were evil!

40+

estimated lifespan

2

extra-long fingers

50cm

adult tail length

Drumming for their dinner

Aye-ayes have a very unique feeding behaviour called ‘percussive foraging’. They use their long middle finger to repeatedly tap on logs and listen for the sound of grubs moving inside.

When they hear one, they’ll chew a small hole in the log and then use their long finger to pull out their meal. The only other species in the world that has been observed doing this is the striped possum.

Understanding the world’s most unusual primate

Very little was known about the aye-aye before they were kept in captivity.

Their odd appearance and unique behaviours led many people in Madagascar to believe they were the omen of death and evil, which led to their persecution.

There is now more hope for the aye-aye, with some Malagasy communities dedicated to protecting this nocturnal lemur.

Help us care for our aye-ayes