Daubentoniidae – Giant aye-aye

Thought to be extinct in 1933, it was rediscovered in 1957

The Aye-aye is a lemur with unusually long fingers; it lives in the jungles of Madagascar. It has a distinct look and is the biggest species of nocturnal primate. At the time of its discovery, scientists classified it as a giant squirrel. Given that its closest lemur cousins are still a mystery even today, the aye-aye was placed in its own group and was not included in the lemur family until the mid-1800s.

However, over a substantial portion of their native habitat, these scarce species are in grave jeopardy. By 1980, it was widely assumed that aye-ayes had become extinct, primarily due to locals’ habit of shooting them dead at sight out of superstition.