Giant aye-aye

Daubentonia robusta

The aye-aye is a known species of bizarre lemur known for its goblin-like appearance, bulging eyes, and disproportionately large middle finger, which it uses to scoop up insects inside hollow logs. There used to be a species of aye-aye called Daubentonia robusta, or the giant aye-aye, which had both a larger geographic range and physical size, reaching up to 20 pounds.


This is significantly larger than the normal four-pound aye-ayes currently known to inhabit Madagascar. Giant aye-ayes are known in the fossil record from only four incisors, a tibia and a handful of other postcranial material. Giant aye-ayes are believed to have died out less than a thousand years ago. 


British primatologist W.C. Osman Hill, a leading authority of primate anatomy in the 20th century, featured what appears to be an account of a late surviving giant aye-aye in his 1956 book Primates: Comparative Anatomy and Taxonomy. It described an extremely large aye-aye skin, significantly larger than any other found, in the early '30s near Andranomavo by a government official named Hourq. It was supposedly killed and skinned by a native man and was found in his house.

An aye-aye