Monday, September 21, 2009

Aye-aye Cap'n

Ever since I got my National Geographic Mammal books in Grade 1, I have loved the aye-aye. These cool creatures are so evolutionarily specialized that they have their own Genus - they are the largest nocturnal primate, they have a long middle finger to act like a woodpecker to fish out grubs and other delectables from trees and, the best part, they look absolutely hilarious.

Aye-aye's live only in Madagascar, a place full of incredible species like the flying fox and hissing cockroaches, and also a country of recent civil unrest. Now, the aye-aye is falling victim to the increased population and troubles with deforestation, poaching and human encroachment. The aye-aye may have a a fond place in my heart, even though it may be the first time you have ever heard of it. But, make sure it isn't the last.

The aye-aye and other evolutionary oddities exist in the remote corners of the globe - like Madagascar, the Galapagos and Borneo. They provide a window into the evolutionary pressures that shape our world and those that live in it. If we lose these species, our understanding of where life comes from will by missing some of those crucial steps in Life's long evolutionary tree.

-- Torah Kachur

1 comment:

  1. I swear I saw Paris Hilton with one of these on a leash