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The aye-aye: small lemur, long fingers
Deep in the forests of Madagascar lives a strange species. A creature with a large forehead, piercing eyes, huge bat-like ears, and a squirrel-like tail. This curious animal also has excessively long, slender fingers. No, it's not a gremlin, but the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a species of nocturnal lemur. It uses its fingers to tap tree trunks, using the sound to locate galleries dug by beetle larvae. If it sounds hollow, it gnaws the wood with its incisors and inserts its slender finger into the gallery, dislodging the large larvae on which it feeds. Scientists at the University of Bern in Switzerland recently discovered that this finger has another use. They filmed an aye-aye inserting its finger through its nose and down its throat. Comparative studies will have to be carried out to try and explain this behavior, and to determine whether nose-picking may have any advantages, and whether it is in any way linked to evolution.
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