Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A nocturnal lemur (Daubentonia madagascariensis) native to northern Madagascar, having prominent ears, a long bushy tail, and rodentlike teeth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A singular nocturnal quadruped, of the family Daubentoniidae, allied to the lemurs, found in Madagascar remarkable for its long fingers, sharp nails, and rodent-like incisor teeth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A singular nocturnal quadruped, allied to the lemurs, found in Madagascar (Cheiromys Madagascariensis), remarkable for its long fingers, sharp nails, and rodent-like incisor teeth.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name of a remarkable lemurine quadruped of Madagascar, of the suborder Prosimiæ, family Daubentoniidæ (or Chiromyidæ), the Daubentonia (or Chiromys) madagascariensis, which combines a rodent-like dentition with the general characters of the lemurs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. nocturnal lemur with long bony fingers and rodent-like incisor teeth closely related to the lemurs

Etymologies

French, from Malagasy aiay, probably imitative of its cry.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French aye-aye, from Malagasy hay-hay, ahay, or aiay. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I always thought the pictures of the aye-aye circulating around the net where photo manipulation.

    The 15 Weirdest Animals Around

  • Think reusable tote bags stamped with the aye-aye, with the tag line, "You may be ugly, but Oprah cares."

    Mairi Beautyman: Puppies? Koalas? How About These Endangered Species, Oprah and Miranda Kerr

  • Brian Verrelli and his ASU team have performed the first sweeping, genetic evolutionary study of color vision in the aye-aye (pronounced "eye-eye"), a bushy-tailed, Madagascar native primate.

    September 5th, 2007

  • I think the book was the first to introduce to the world the marvellous diversity of wildlife on Madagascar - and, incidentally, the aye-aye.

    October 4th, 2009

  • Music:trust no one ...a baby aye-aye at Denver Zoo, by the good offices of the Telegraph's `Animal Pictures Of The Week' feature, a fecund source of LOLs and sigs.

    May 23rd, 2009

  • One of the most unusual lemur species is the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis, EN), which has huge ears, shaggy fur, continuously growing incisors (like a rodent), and a very thin middle finger on each hand, that together with its large ears are used for catching woodboring insect larvae or excavating coconuts.

    Biological diversity in Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands

  • The simple truth is this: We have all been riding the Exxon Valdez for eight years, and McCain has done nothing but say 'aye-aye' to the drunken skipper.

    RJ Eskow: 'The Politics of Terror' Strikes the Economy

  • There is also an unconfirmed report of aye-aye Daubentonia madagascariensis being seen just outside the reserve near Bekopaka.

    Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve, Madagascar

  • The lemurs and other primates at far right are among the best here: there's an aye-aye, a sifaka, indri and others.

    Archive 2006-08-01

  • While millions of dollars have gone into saving the last three thousand pandas just because they're cute, at least one sorry creature—the aye-aye—is bound for extinction because it's ugly.

    Speedlinking 3/6/07

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Comments

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  • The aye-aye, a percussive forager

    "The aye-aye, one of the strangest and rarest species of primates in the world, has an equally unusual method of finding food. Zoologists have discovered that it taps wood to locate cavities under the surface. Its skills are so well developed that it can tell holes containing grubs from those that are empty. It is the only mammal known to use such a technique."

    To improve the efficiency of its "percussive foraging," the aye-aye has evolved huge bat-like ears and a highly elongated middle finger on each hand. This specialized finger does the tapping and the big ears relay the nuances of sound to the brain. So sensitive is this specialized form of sonar that the ayeaye can detect grubs 2 centimeters below the surface of the wood. Once a grub has been located, the aye-aye tears into the wood with its forwardcurving, chisel-like teeth. The incisors are remarkable for a primate, for they keep on growing, just like those of rodents. When the grub-containing chamber has been reached, the long, narrow middle finger is inserted and the grub is retrieved. A neat combination of attributes.

    December 5, 2008

  • What a splendid bit of verse!

    November 13, 2007

  • Aye-aye

    A wingless bat with
    Fu Manchu fingers,

    driven out of Madagascar
    by real estate developers,

    "Nay-nay,"
    I say when asked

    about the future.
    There will be none.

    I am the most primitive primate.
    It was fun.

    (Richard Grossman)

    November 13, 2007

  • They're kind of cute, but they also look like I've always imagined Gollum.

    March 27, 2007

  • I don't either! In fact, I think they're kind of cute. I had no idea they were in danger of extinction, either. Damn shame.

    March 27, 2007

  • Good article that discusses aye-ayes. I don't think they're that ugly...

    March 27, 2007

  • nocturnal Madagascan primate.

    December 10, 2006