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#32 Aye-aye


Primate Week

Yes, these are a bit unusual looking. Unfortunately not being traditionally cute ends up working against their survival too. Their biggest threat is habitat loss, but they are also killed on sight in some areas of Madagascar. It is thought that they are bad omens and even that they themselves will sneak in your room and kill you. They don't, I promise you they don't. They do have the largest brain to body size of all the lemurs. Their middle finger is extra long and thin. It also has a joint that is more similar to the ball joint on our shoulder than the ones on our fingers. Their teeth are rodent-like and are constantly growing. They are strong, and used to make holes large enough they can put their long finger in and use it to fish out grubs or other food. In captivity they have been said to chew through a concrete wall even. Most likely, because they are so intelligent, it is due to boredom rather than that they are thinking food is in the wall. They are the largest of the nocturnal primates. Their body is up to about a foot and a half long, and their beautiful big tails (think a tail that would make a fox jealous because it is so fluffy) are up to 2 feet long.

My son sent me this picture before they left. This is not fog, it is smoke. They would have loved to stay, but once the smoke rolled in they really couldn't just stay there. We don't have an RV, just a tent, so they would be breathing smoke even at night in bed. I'm glad they got away at least, even though it was only for one night.

So this painting bothers me. I am trying to do a looser style but they have this very wiry hair that is easier to show with a really fine brush. I did some, but mostly I used the bigger brush I've been trying to confine myself to. I also struggled with how to portray the Aye-aye. If you look them up photographs seem to either try to accentuate the goblin-like look of them, or are hoping to enhance any cuteness they have. I think they are rather cute but will admit they are not as cute as maybe some other lemurs. I was hoping to find a sort of middle-ground. Possibly going for a cute goblin? Really I think the main thing I am struggling with is accepting the lack of detail I am forcing myself into.

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