What do you get when you mix the sailor’s term, “Aye-Aye,” and a lemur-looking animal? To some, this may look like a sneak peak into a new “Madagascar” movie. Sorry to disappoint. “Aye-Aye” is simply the name of the little creature pictured above. While a new “Madagascar” movie might be fun, this furry critter is also quite interesting.
The Aye-Aye may not be starring in the next “Madagascar” movie, but he is actually native to Madagascar. Over the years, scientists have had a very difficult time classifying what type of animal this little guy is. See, the Aye-Aye is a mix between a monkey, a rodent, and a bat. Seriously. There is really no other animal quite like the Aye-Aye. Here is why:
1. Ears: The Aye-Aye is equipped with rather large ears and an astonishing ability to distinguish sounds. Its hearing is so sensitive that it is able to pick up the slightest variation in pitch. We will see why this is so remarkable in a minute,
2. Teeth: Scientists originally put the Aye-Aye in the rodent family because of his teeth. Just like a rodent, the Aye-Aye’s teeth never stop growing (Buzzle.com). His teeth are long, sharp and narrow. They are not all that special by themselves, but how they are used is what makes them unique. We will see why in just a moment
3. Fingers: Take a look at the picture below.
No, this is not a distorted figure from some horror movie, it’s just the Aye-Aye’s fingers. As you will notice, several of its fingers are much longer than the others. This is mostly for grip and mobility through the trees. However, if you look even closer, the Aye-Aye is equipped with one special finger that is particularly long, narrow, and boney. This finger is what makes this animal so remarkable. Like the human shoulder, this finger has its own ball and socket joint, meaning it has a large range of motion and flexibility to move in whatever position it needs.
While up in the trees, the Aye-Aye will begin tapping on the tree repetitively with that finger. Sometimes it does this as fast as 8 times per second (animal.discovery.com). What the Aye-Aye is doing is searching for grubs buried in the tree. Since his hearing is so acute, he is almost able to “see” where the grub is in the tree simply by tapping on it (otherwise known as echolocation, like bats). He is able to move this finger independently from the others (a-z-Animals.com). So, he can grip the tree and tap on it at the same time. He will listen to the difference in sound with each tap and is able to zero in on his dinner. The only thing left to do is get it.
This is when all of his specially equipped tools come into play. Once he has located where the grub is, using his sensitive ears, he will begin using his sharp narrow teeth. These teeth just so happen to be perfect for ripping open the tree since they are always growing and will never wear down. Once the tree is opened up, he inserts that special bony finger into the hole and down the tunnel the grub has made. His other fingers wouldn’t fit in the grub’s small tunnel. Then, since his finger has a claw on it, he finds the grub and drags it out. Dinner time!
What a fascinating animal the Aye-Aye is. He is monkey-like because of his mobility in the trees, yet rodent-like because of his teeth, and even bat-like because he uses echolocation to find food. Every part of the Aye-Aye works together perfectly. Each feature has clearly been crafted and specialized. Like everything else in our world, the evidence seen in the Aye-Aye is telling of a Creator. This little guy may not be too pleasant to look at, but when we look closely, the almighty Designer can be seen. The pile of evidence for God and creation is already enormous, and the Aye-Aye simply adds to that stack. Like most animals, the Aye-Aye puts evolution in an impossible situation to adequately explain and prove how this all came about.
The Aye-Aye is definitely a unique animal and points to the uniqueness of God. There is simply nothing and no one like Him. As Nehemiah so well says, “You alone are the Lord. You have made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them and the heavenly host bows down before You” (9:6). Truly, the Lord deserves our worship, glory, and praise!