MNN Galleries

13 of the ugliest animals on the planet

By: Bryan Nelson on Feb. 16, 2016, 12:58 p.m.
aye-aye

Photo: James Joel/flickr

8 of 15

Aye-aye

This gremlin-looking creature, called an Aye-aye, is actually a primate found in Madagascar.

Aye-ayes have a number of unusual traits, including a long, bony, witch-like middle finger that they use to pry insects and grubs from tree trunks. This allows them to fill a biological niche much like a woodpecker might. They are nocturnal, only coming out at night.

Aye-ayes also have incisors that continually grow (which is unusual for primates, according to the Duke Lemur Center) and extremely large ears. As it walks along a branch, the aye-aye taps it with its skeletal middle finger. It cups its huge ear forward, listening for the echoes coming from the tree. When it knows it is above an insect tunnel, it tears off chunks of the tree with its massive teeth so it can uncover the tunnel and feast on the insects within.