Aye-aye Lemur ‘Heats Up’ Its Special Foraging Finger (BBC Nature)


Dartmouth graduate student Gillian Moritz has discovered that Mother Nature gives the aye-aye lemur a unique way of storing energy.

Using thermal imaging, Moritz has learned that the aye-aye’s exceptionally long middle finger stays cool when it’s not being used to find food. This helps the aye-aye save energy during its nocturnal hunts for beetle larvae.

“Like any delicate instrument, [the finger] is probably best deactivated when not in use,” Moritz said.

Moritz published her research in the International Journal of Primatology this month, with Associate Professor of Anthropology Nathaniel Dominy as co-author.

Read the full story, published 1/17/12 by BBC Nature.

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