With unruly, mad-scientist hair, startlingly bright eyes, long, bony digits and oversized ears, the nocturnal aye-aye can easily give anyone a fright. The small, endangered mammal is only found on the island of Madagascar, where the locals consider them bad luck [source: National Geographic].
Aye-ayes live in the island's rain forest, and spend their lives up in the trees. Moving along tree branches, they tap, tap, tap with their unusually long middle fingers, listening for echoes. When they determine an insect tunnel lies inside a branch, they rip it open with their super-sized teeth to feast on the bugs within, fishing them out with their middle fingers. Aye-ayes, which are actually primates, also dig out insect larvae scurrying around under the bark. The tiny creatures, which are typically dark brown or black, are the only primates known to use echolocation to find their prey [sources: National Geographic, Nelson].
Aye-ayes have a 20-year lifespan. Or they should have. Unfortunately, since the Malagasy consider them bad luck, they're often killed on sight. And the modern-day destruction of their natural habitat hasn't helped. Now, as members of the critically endangered species list, aye-ayes are protected by law [source: National Geographic].