The Asiatic lion is a Panthera leo leo population in India. Its range is restricted to environs in the Indian state of Gujarat. On the IUCN Red List, it is listed under its former scientific name Panthera leo persica as Endangered because of its small population size and area of occupancy; the Asiatic lion was first described in 1826 by the Austrian zoologist Johann N. Meyer who named it Felis leo persicus; until the 19th century, it occurred in eastern Turkey, Iran and from east of the Indus River to Bengal and Narmada River in Central India. Since the turn of the 20th century, it is restricted to the Gir Forest National Park and surrounding areas; this lion population has increased since 2010. In May 2015, the 14th Asiatic Lion Census was conducted over an area of about 20,000 km2. In August 2017, a similar census revealed 650 wild individuals; the lion is one of five pantherine cats inhabiting India, along with the Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, snow leopard and clouded leopard. It was known as "Indian lion" and "Persian lion".
Following Meyer's first description of an Asiatic lion skin from Persia, other naturalists and zoologists described lion specimens from other parts of Asia that used to be considered synonyms of P. l. persica: Felis leo bengalensis proposed by Edward Turner Bennett in 1829 was a lion kept in the menagerie of the Tower of London. Bennett's essay contains a drawing titled'Bengal lion'. Felis leo goojratensis proposed by Walter Smee in 1833 was based on two skins of maneless lions from Gujarat that Smee exhibited in a meeting of the Zoological Society of London. Leo asiaticus was proposed by Sir William Jardine, 7th Baronet in 1834. Felis leo indicus proposed by Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville in 1843 was based on an Asiatic lion skull. In 2017, the Asiatic lion was subsumed to P. l. leo due to close morphological and molecular genetic similarities with Barbary lion specimens. Fossil remains of Panthera spelaea excavated in the Cromer Stage indicate that it represented a genetically isolated and distinct lineage.
Fossil lion remains were found in Pleistocene deposits in West Bengal. A fossil carnassial excavated in the Batadomba Cave indicates that Panthera leo sinhaleyus inhabited Sri Lanka during the late Pleistocene, is thought to have become extinct around 39,000 years ago. Deraniyagala described this lion in 1939, distinct from today's lion. Results of a phylogeographic analysis based on mtDNA sequences of lions from across the global range indicates that Sub-Saharan African lions are phylogenetically basal to all modern lions; these findings support an African origin of modern lion evolution with a probable centre in East and Southern Africa. It is that lions migrated from there to West Africa, eastern North Africa and via the periphery of the Arabian Peninsula into Turkey, southern Europe and northern India during the last 20,000 years; the Sahara, tropical rainforest and the Great Rift Valley are natural barriers to lion dispersal. Genetic markers of 357 samples from captive and wild lions from Africa and India were examined during a study on lion evolution.
Results indicate four lineages of lion populations: one in Central and North Africa to Asia, one in Kenya, one in Southern Africa, one in Southern and East Africa. The first wave of lion expansion is thought to have occurred about 118,000 years ago from East Africa into West Asia, the second wave in the late Pleistocene or early Holocene periods from Southern Africa towards East Africa; the Asiatic lion is genetically closer to North and West African lions than to the group comprising East and Southern African lions. The two groups diverged about 186,000–128,000 years ago, it is thought that the Asiatic lion remained connected to North and Central African lions until gene flow was interrupted due to extinction of lions in Europe and the Middle East. Asiatic lions are genetically less diverse than lions in Africa, which may be the result of a founder effect in the recent history of the remnant population in the Gir Forest; the Asiatic lion's fur ranges in colour from ruddy-tawny speckled with black, to sandy or buffish grey, sometimes with a silvery sheen in certain lights.
Males have only moderate mane growth at the top of the head. The mane is scanty on throat where it is only 10 cm long. About half of Asiatic lions' skulls from the Gir forest have divided infraorbital foramina, whereas African lions have only one foramen on either side; the sagittal crest is more developed, the post-orbital area is shorter than in African lion. Skull length in adult males ranges from 330 to 340 mm, in females from 292 to 302 mm, it differs from the African lion by less inflated auditory bullae. The most striking morphological character of the Asiatic lion is a longitudinal fold of skin running along its belly. Shoulder height of males is 107–120 centimetres, of females 80–107 centimetres. Head-and-body measurements of two lions in Gir Forest were 1.98 m each, with tail-lengths of 0.79–0.89 m and total lengths of 2.82–2.87 m, respectively. The Gir lion is similar in size to the Central African lion, smaller than large African lions. Adult males weigh 160 to 190 kg. Colour and development of manes in male lions varies between regions, among populations and with age of lions.
In general, the Asiatic lion differs from the African lion by a less develop
A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of colonies of coral polyps held together by calcium carbonate. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals. Coral belongs to the class Anthozoa in the animal phylum Cnidaria, which includes sea anemones and jellyfish. Unlike sea anemones, corals secrete hard carbonate exoskeletons that protect the coral. Most reefs grow best in warm, clear and agitated water. Called "rainforests of the sea", shallow coral reefs form some of Earth's most diverse ecosystems, they occupy less than 0.1% of the world's ocean area, about half the area of France, yet they provide a home for at least 25% of all marine species, including fish, worms, echinoderms, sponges and other cnidarians. Coral reefs flourish in ocean waters, they are most found at shallow depths in tropical waters, but deep water and cold water coral reefs exist on smaller scales in other areas. Coral reefs deliver ecosystem services for tourism and shoreline protection.
The annual global economic value of coral reefs is estimated between US$30–375 billion and 9.9 trillion USD. Coral reefs are fragile because they are sensitive to water conditions, they are under threat from excess nutrients, rising temperatures, oceanic acidification, sunscreen use, harmful land-use practices, including runoff and seeps. Most coral reefs were formed after the last glacial period when melting ice caused sea level to rise and flood continental shelves. Most coral reefs are less than 10,000 years old; as communities established themselves, the reefs grew pacing rising sea levels. Reefs that rose too could become drowned, without sufficient light. Coral reefs are found in the deep sea away from continental shelves, around oceanic islands and atolls; the majority of these islands are volcanic in origin. Others have tectonic origins. In The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs, Charles Darwin set out his theory of the formation of atoll reefs, an idea he conceived during the voyage of the Beagle.
He theorized that subsidence of the Earth's crust under the oceans formed the atolls. Darwin set out a sequence of three stages in atoll formation. A fringing reef forms around an extinct volcanic island as the ocean floor subsides; as the subsidence continues, the fringing reef becomes a barrier reef and an atoll reef. Darwin predicted that underneath each lagoon would be a bedrock base, the remains of the original volcano. Subsequent research supported this hypothesis. Darwin's theory followed from his understanding that coral polyps thrive in the tropics where the water is agitated, but can only live within a limited depth range, starting just below low tide. Where the level of the underlying earth allows, the corals grow around the coast to form fringing reefs, can grow to become a barrier reef. Where the bottom is rising, fringing reefs can grow around the coast, but coral raised above sea level dies. If the land subsides the fringing reefs keep pace by growing upwards on a base of older, dead coral, forming a barrier reef enclosing a lagoon between the reef and the land.
A barrier reef can encircle an island, once the island sinks below sea level a circular atoll of growing coral continues to keep up with the sea level, forming a central lagoon. Barrier reefs and atolls do not form complete circles, but are broken in places by storms. Like sea level rise, a subsiding bottom can overwhelm coral growth, killing the coral and the reef, due to what is called coral drowning. Corals that rely on zooxanthellae can die when the water becomes too deep for their symbionts to adequately photosynthesize, due to decreased light exposure; the two main variables determining the geomorphology, or shape, of coral reefs are the nature of the substrate on which they rest, the history of the change in sea level relative to that substrate. The 20,000-year-old Great Barrier Reef offers an example of how coral reefs formed on continental shelves. Sea level was 120 m lower than in the 21st century; as sea level rose, the water and the corals encroached on what had been hills of the Australian coastal plain.
By 13,000 years ago, sea level had risen to 60 m lower than at present, many hills of the coastal plains had become continental islands. As sea level rise continued, water topped most of the continental islands; the corals could overgrow the hills, forming cays and reefs. Sea level on the Great Barrier Reef has not changed in the last 6,000 years; the age of living reef structure is estimated to be between 8,000 years. Although the Great Barrier Reef formed along a continental shelf, not around a volcanic island, Darwin's principles apply. Development stopped at the barrier reef stage, it formed 300 -- 1,000 m from shore, stretching for 2,000 km. Healthy tropical coral reefs grow horizontally from 1 to 3 cm per year, grow vertically anywhere from 1 to 25 cm per year; as the name implies, coral reefs are made up of coral skeletons from intact coral colonies. As other chemical elements present in corals become incorporated into the calcium carbonate deposits, aragonite is formed. However
Geographic coordinate system
A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position. A common choice of coordinates is latitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection; the invention of a geographic coordinate system is credited to Eratosthenes of Cyrene, who composed his now-lost Geography at the Library of Alexandria in the 3rd century BC. A century Hipparchus of Nicaea improved on this system by determining latitude from stellar measurements rather than solar altitude and determining longitude by timings of lunar eclipses, rather than dead reckoning. In the 1st or 2nd century, Marinus of Tyre compiled an extensive gazetteer and mathematically-plotted world map using coordinates measured east from a prime meridian at the westernmost known land, designated the Fortunate Isles, off the coast of western Africa around the Canary or Cape Verde Islands, measured north or south of the island of Rhodes off Asia Minor.
Ptolemy credited him with the full adoption of longitude and latitude, rather than measuring latitude in terms of the length of the midsummer day. Ptolemy's 2nd-century Geography used the same prime meridian but measured latitude from the Equator instead. After their work was translated into Arabic in the 9th century, Al-Khwārizmī's Book of the Description of the Earth corrected Marinus' and Ptolemy's errors regarding the length of the Mediterranean Sea, causing medieval Arabic cartography to use a prime meridian around 10° east of Ptolemy's line. Mathematical cartography resumed in Europe following Maximus Planudes' recovery of Ptolemy's text a little before 1300. In 1884, the United States hosted the International Meridian Conference, attended by representatives from twenty-five nations. Twenty-two of them agreed to adopt the longitude of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England as the zero-reference line; the Dominican Republic voted against the motion, while Brazil abstained. France adopted Greenwich Mean Time in place of local determinations by the Paris Observatory in 1911.
In order to be unambiguous about the direction of "vertical" and the "horizontal" surface above which they are measuring, map-makers choose a reference ellipsoid with a given origin and orientation that best fits their need for the area they are mapping. They choose the most appropriate mapping of the spherical coordinate system onto that ellipsoid, called a terrestrial reference system or geodetic datum. Datums may be global, meaning that they represent the whole Earth, or they may be local, meaning that they represent an ellipsoid best-fit to only a portion of the Earth. Points on the Earth's surface move relative to each other due to continental plate motion and diurnal Earth tidal movement caused by the Moon and the Sun; this daily movement can be as much as a metre. Continental movement can be up to 10 m in a century. A weather system high-pressure area can cause a sinking of 5 mm. Scandinavia is rising by 1 cm a year as a result of the melting of the ice sheets of the last ice age, but neighbouring Scotland is rising by only 0.2 cm.
These changes are insignificant if a local datum is used, but are statistically significant if a global datum is used. Examples of global datums include World Geodetic System, the default datum used for the Global Positioning System, the International Terrestrial Reference Frame, used for estimating continental drift and crustal deformation; the distance to Earth's center can be used both for deep positions and for positions in space. Local datums chosen by a national cartographical organisation include the North American Datum, the European ED50, the British OSGB36. Given a location, the datum provides the latitude ϕ and longitude λ. In the United Kingdom there are three common latitude and height systems in use. WGS 84 differs at Greenwich from the one used on published maps OSGB36 by 112 m; the military system ED50, used by NATO, differs from about 120 m to 180 m. The latitude and longitude on a map made against a local datum may not be the same as one obtained from a GPS receiver. Coordinates from the mapping system can sometimes be changed into another datum using a simple translation.
For example, to convert from ETRF89 to the Irish Grid add 49 metres to the east, subtract 23.4 metres from the north. More one datum is changed into any other datum using a process called Helmert transformations; this involves converting the spherical coordinates into Cartesian coordinates and applying a seven parameter transformation, converting back. In popular GIS software, data projected in latitude/longitude is represented as a Geographic Coordinate System. For example, data in latitude/longitude if the datum is the North American Datum of 1983 is denoted by'GCS North American 1983'; the "latitude" of a point on Earth's surface is the angle between the equatorial plane and the straight line that passes through that point and through the center of the Earth. Lines joining points of the same latitude trace circles on the surface of Earth called parallels, as they are parallel to the Equator and to each other; the North Pole is 90° N. The 0° parallel of latitude is designated the Equator, the fun
Livingstone's fruit bat
Livingstone's fruit bat called the Comoro flying fox, is a megabat in the genus Pteropus. It is an Old World fruit bat found only in the Anjouan and Mohéli islands in the Union of the Comoros in the western Indian Ocean, it is the largest and rarest bat of all Comorian species. Its preferred habitat is montane forest above 200 metres on Mohéli and above 500 metres on Anjouan, the destruction of, a major threat to the bat population; as of 2003, the total population was estimated at 1,200 individuals. Other threats to the bats' survival include storms and their struggles to readapt to new habitats; the black-bearded flying fox is believed to be one of the closest relatives of Livingstone's fruit bats, but experts differ as to whether or not these species belong to the same species group. No subspecies have been recognized. Livingstone's fruit bats are black in colour, with a scattering of golden or tawny hairs over the rump and flanks; the amount of golden hair varies between individuals, with some having a narrow band of golden fur down the back, or golden patches on the shoulders, others being pure black without any paler hair at all.
The wings are black and hairless, as are the legs and large, rounded ears. Distinguishing characteristics include their rounded ears, the colour of their fur, their large, orange or red eyes, reflecting this bat’s well-developed vision. Livingstone's fruit bats weigh 500 to 800 g, they have a body length of a wingspan up to 1.4 m. They do not exhibit sexual dimorphism; the bats have a slow, flapping flight, circle in an attempt to gain height, but are unlike nocturnal bats, capable of soaring on air thermals. Their wings have an aspect ratio of 6.52, a wing loading of 25.8 N/m2, have been estimated to have a turning circle of 11.3 m. Livingstone's fruit bat is found only on the islands of Anjouan and Mohéli, within the Comoros archipelago between Africa and northern Madagascar, it inhabits montane forest above 500 m on Anjouan. All current Livingstone’s fruit bat roosts are restricted to a narrow midaltitudinal range and are associated with the presence of native and endemic trees, with the biggest roosts located in dense-canopy, old-growth forest.
Livingstone’s flying fox appears to show a preference for roosting in certain tree species, in particular the endemic Nuxia pseudodentata and native Gambeya spp. and at forested sites that are found on steep slopes, next to valleys where permanent watercourses are present, facing in a southeast direction and in depressions to provide protection from wind and the midday sun. Only 15 roost-sites are occupied in Anjouan and six at Moheli. In captivity, a colony can have a dominant male with up to eight breeding females. Livingstone’s flying foxes are active both day and night, are predominantly nocturnal, the highest activity was observed between 10 pm and 2 am, they fly to a feeding site a few hours before dusk, taking advantage of hot, daytime thermals, hang from the trees before beginning to feed after nightfall. They forage for food in the upper canopy of the forest, whereas the two other fruit bats native to the Comoros, the Seychelles fruit bat and the Comoro rousette, forage in the middle and lower canopy, respectively.
The diet of Livingstone's fruit bats consists of fruit, nectar and leaves. They have been observed to hunt and eat moths in captivity, they drive off intruders on their feeding territory with chattering sounds, clapping their wings, chasing, sometimes culminating in clawing and biting. When alarmed, they make squeaking sounds or a deep series of "clucks". After mating, the pregnant females relocate to maternity roost sites to give birth and raise their young until they reach maturity, they give birth to a single pup in early September. The young pups are born furred and with their eyes open, they begin to forage at 2.5 to 5.0 months of age, males begin to establish territories at 6 months. P. livingstonii is listed under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of fauna and flora) In 1995, the IUCN developed an action plan for the species which included research, community education programs, training of bat monitoring. A nongovernmental organization called. Action Comoros developed an environmental education program, the main goals of which were to raise awareness, develop resources, train educators, promote knowledge, foster pride, involve locals.
These plans are important in the short-term benefits of conservation and improve a strong foundation of conservation programs for the long term. A captive-breeding program was initiated by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in 1992. Having a captive-breeding program could save P. livingstonii from going extinct. Many efforts are being made to aid in the survival of P. livingstonii, but as the populations of the natives increase on these Comoros islands, deforestation will continue to rise, as well. As stated by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, “If the bats’ natural habitat is not protected, this amazing species could be extinct within 10 years.” The breeding program now includes other facilities, with the Bristol Zoo the site of 30 births from 1999–2013. Of those 30 pups, 23 survived; the year 2016 was a productive year for the Durrell colony, with six pups born by mid-June. The Bristol Zoo and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust exchange male bats to maintain genetic diversity and avoid inbreeding depression.
Nonbreeding male bats have been sent to the Chester
Corals are marine invertebrates within the class Anthozoa of the phylum Cnidaria. They live in compact colonies of many identical individual polyps. Corals species include the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton. A coral "group" is a colony of myriad genetically identical polyps; each polyp is a sac-like animal only a few millimeters in diameter and a few centimeters in length. A set of tentacles surround a central mouth opening. An exoskeleton is excreted near the base. Over many generations, the colony thus creates a large skeleton characteristic of the species. Individual heads grow by asexual reproduction of polyps. Corals breed sexually by spawning: polyps of the same species release gametes over a period of one to several nights around a full moon. Although some corals are able to catch small fish and plankton using stinging cells on their tentacles, most corals obtain the majority of their energy and nutrients from photosynthetic unicellular dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium that live within their tissues.
These are known as zooxanthellae. Such corals require sunlight and grow in clear, shallow water at depths less than 60 metres. Corals are major contributors to the physical structure of the coral reefs that develop in tropical and subtropical waters, such as the enormous Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Other corals do not rely on zooxanthellae and can live in much deeper water, with the cold-water genus Lophelia surviving as deep as 3,300 metres; some have been found on the Darwin Mounds, northwest of Cape Wrath and others as far north as off the coast of Washington State and the Aleutian Islands. Aristotle's pupil Theophrastus described the red coral, korallion, in his book on stones, implying it was a mineral, but he described it as a deep-sea plant in his Enquiries on Plants, where he mentions large stony plants that reveal bright flowers when under water in the Gulf of Heroes. Pliny the Elder stated boldly that several sea creatures including sea nettles and sponges "are neither animals nor plants, but are possessed of a third nature".
Petrus Gyllius copied Pliny, introducing the term zoophyta for this third group in his 1535 book On the French and Latin Names of the Fishes of the Marseilles Region. Gyllius further noted, following Aristotle, how hard it was to define what was a plant and what was an animal; the Persian polymath Al-Biruni classified sponges and corals as animals, arguing that they respond to touch. People believed corals to be plants until the eighteenth century, when William Herschel used a microscope to establish that coral had the characteristic thin cell membranes of an animal. Presently, corals are classified as certain species of animals within the sub-classes Hexacorallia and Octocorallia of the class Anthozoa in the phylum Cnidaria. Hexacorallia includes the stony corals and these groups have polyps that have a 6-fold symmetry. Octocorallia includes blue coral and soft corals and species of Octocorallia have polyps with an eightfold symmetry, each polyp having eight tentacles and eight mesenteries.
Fire corals are not true corals. Corals are sessile animals and differ from most other cnidarians in not having a medusa stage in their life cycle; the body unit of the animal is a polyp. Most corals are colonial, the initial polyp budding to produce another and the colony developing from this small start. In stony corals known as hard corals, the polyps produce a skeleton composed of calcium carbonate to strengthen and protect the organism; this is deposited by the coenosarc, the living tissue that connects them. The polyps sit in cup-shaped depressions in the skeleton known as corallites. Colonies of stony coral are variable in appearance. In soft corals, there is no stony skeleton but the tissues are toughened by the presence of tiny skeletal elements known as sclerites, which are made from calcium carbonate. Soft corals are variable in form and most are colonial. A few soft corals are stolonate. In some species this is thick and the polyps are embedded; some soft corals are form lobes. Others have a central axial skeleton embedded in the tissue matrix.
This is composed either of a fibrous protein called gorgonin or of a calcified material. In both stony and soft corals, the polyps can be retracted, with stony corals relying on their hard skeleton and cnidocytes for defence against predators, soft corals relying on chemical defences in the form of toxic substances present in the tissues known as terpenoids; the polyps of stony corals have six-fold symmetry. The mouth of each polyp is surrounded by a ring of tentacles. In stony corals these are cylindrical and taper to a point, but in soft corals they are pinnate with side branches known as pinnules. In some tropical species these are reduced to mere stubs and in some they are fused to give a paddle-like appearance. In most corals, the tentacles are retracted by day and spread out at night to catch plankton and other small organisms. Shallow water species of both stony and soft corals can be zooxanthellate, the corals supplementing their plankton diet with t
The tamarins are squirrel-sized New World monkeys from the family Callitrichidae in the genus Saguinus. They are the first offshoot in the Callitrichidae tree, therefore are sister group of a clade formed by the lion tamarins, Goeldi's monkeys and marmosets. Different tamarin species vary in appearance, ranging from nearly all black through mixtures of black and white. Mustache-like facial hairs are typical for many species, their body size ranges from 13 to 30 cm and they weigh from 220 to 900 grams. Tamarins differ from marmosets in having lower canine teeth that are longer than the incisors. In captivity, tamarins can live for up to 18 years. Tamarins range from southern Central America through central South America, where they are found in northwestern Colombia, the Amazon basin, the Guianas. Tamarins are inhabitants of open forest areas, they are diurnal and arboreal, run and jump through the trees. Tamarins live together in groups of up to 40 members consisting of one or more families. More though, groups are composed of just three to nine members.
Tamarins are omnivores, eating fruits and other plant parts as well as spiders, small vertebrates and bird eggs. Gestation is 140 days, births are twins; the adult males and juveniles in the group assist with caring for the young, bringing them to their mother to nurse. After one month the young begin to eat solid food, although they aren't weaned for another two to three months, they reach full maturity in their second year. Tamarins are exclusively polyandrous. Cottontop tamarins breed cooperatively in the wild. Cronin and Snowdon tested eight cottontop tamarins in a series of cooperative pulling experiments. Two monkeys were put on opposite sides of a transparent apparatus containing food. Only if both monkeys pulled a handle on their side of the apparatus towards themselves at the same time would food drop down for them to obtain; the results showed that tamarins pulled the handles at a lower rate when alone with the apparatus than when in the presence of a partner. Cronin and Snowdon concluded from this that cottontop tamarins have a good understanding of cooperation.
They suggest. While tamarins spend much of their day foraging, they must be on high alert for aerial and terrestrial predators. Due to their small size compared to other primates, they are an easy target for predatory birds and mammals; the first classification of Saguinus tamarins contained ten different species, further divided into 33 morphotypes based on facial pelage. A classification into two clades was based on variations in dental measurements; the latest classification postulates fifteen species with no subspecies. A genetic review in 2016 revealed that the oldest species groups first began diverging 11–8 million years ago, leading the authors to recommend moving the nigricollis group to a separate genus, Leontocebus. Other authors argued that the mystax group of tamarins is distinct enough to be classified in the subgenus Tamarinus. Genus Saguinus S. midas group Red-handed tamarin, Saguinus midas Black tamarin, Saguinus niger Saguinus ursula S. nigricollis group Black-mantled tamarin, Saguinus nigricollis Spix's black-mantled tamarin, Saguinus nigricollis nigricollis Hernandez-Camacho's black-mantled tamarin Saguinus nigricollis hernandezi Graells's tamarin, Saguinus graellsi Brown-mantled tamarin or saddle-back tamarin, Saguinus fuscicollis Spix's saddle-back tamarin, Saguinus fuscicollis fuscicollis Geoffroy's saddle-back tamarin, Saguinus fuscicollis nigrifrons Illiger's saddle-back tamarin, Saguinus fuscicollis illigeri Andean saddle-back tamarin, Saguinus fuscicollis leucogenys Red-mantle saddle-back tamarin, Saguinus fuscicollis lagonotus Saguinus fuscicollis fuscus Avila Pires' saddle-back tamarin, Saguinus fuscicollis avilapiresi Weddell's saddle-back tamarin, Saguinus fuscicollis weddelli Cruz Lima's saddle-back tamarin, Saguinus fuscicollis cruzlimai Saddle-back tamarin, Saguinus fuscicollis primitivus Mura's saddleback tamarin, Saguinus fuscicollis mura White-mantled tamarin, Saguinus melanoleucus Golden-mantled tamarin, Saguinus tripartitus S. mystax group Moustached tamarin, Saguinus mystax Spix's moustached tamarin, Saguinus mystax mystax White-rump moustached tamarin, Saguinus mystax pluto Red-capped tamarin, Saguinus pileatus White-lipped tamarin, Saguinus labiatus Emperor tamarin, Saguinus imperator S. bicolor group Pied tamarin, Saguinus bicolor Martins's tamarin, Saguinus martinsi Martin's bare-face tamarin, Saguinus martinsi martinsi Ochraceus bare-face tamarin, Saguinus martinsi ochraceus S. oedipus group Cotton-top tamarin or Pinché tamarin, Saguinus oedipus Geoffroy's tamarin, Saguinus geoffroyi White-footed tamarin, Saguinus leucopus S. inustus group Mottle-faced tamarin, Saguinus inustus Primate Info Net Saguinus Factsheets
The aye-aye is a lemur, a strepsirrhine primate native to Madagascar that combines rodent-like teeth that perpetually grow and a special thin middle finger. It is the world's largest nocturnal primate, it is characterized by its unusual method of finding food: it taps on trees to find grubs gnaws holes in the wood using its forward slanting incisors to create a small hole in which it inserts its narrow middle finger to pull the grubs out. This foraging method is called percussive foraging, takes up 5–41% of foraging time; the only other animal species known to find food in this way is the striped possum. From an ecological point of view, the aye-aye fills the niche of a woodpecker, as it is capable of penetrating wood to extract the invertebrates within; the aye-aye is the only extant member of the genus family Daubentoniidae. It is classified as Endangered by the IUCN; the genus Daubentonia was named after the French naturalist Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton by his student, Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, in 1795.
Geoffroy considered using the Greek name Scolecophagus in reference to its eating habits, but he decided against it because he was uncertain about the aye-aye's habits and whether other related species might be discovered. In 1863, British zoologist John Edward Gray coined the family name Daubentoniidae; the French naturalist Pierre Sonnerat was the first to use the vernacular name "aye-aye" in 1782 when he described and illustrated the lemur, though it was called the "long-fingered lemur" by English zoologist George Shaw in 1800—a name that did not stick. According to Sonnerat, the name "aye-aye" was a "cri d'exclamation & d'étonnement". However, American paleoanthropologist Ian Tattersall noted in 1982 that the name resembles the Malagasy name "hai hai" or "hay hay", used around the island. According to Dunkel et al. in 2012, the widespread use of the Malagasy name indicates that the name could not have come from Sonnerat. Another hypothesis proposed by Simons and Meyers in 2001 is that it derives from "heh heh", Malagasy for "I don't know".
If correct the name might have originated from Malagasy people saying "heh heh" to avoid saying the name of a feared, magical animal. Due to its derived morphological features, the classification of the aye-aye has been debated since its discovery; the possession of continually growing incisors parallels those of rodents, leading early naturalists to mistakenly classify the aye-aye within the mammalian order Rodentia and as a squirrel, due to its toes, hair coloring, tail. However, the aye-aye is similar to felines in its head shape, eyes and nostrils; the aye-aye's classification with the order Primates has been just as uncertain. It has been considered a derived member of the family Indridae, a basal branch of the strepsirrhine suborder, of indeterminate relation to all living primates. In 1931, Anthony and Coupin classified the aye-aye under infraorder Chiromyiformes, a sister group to the other strepsirrhines. Colin Groves upheld this classification in 2005 because he was not convinced the aye-aye formed a clade with the rest of the Malagasy lemurs, despite molecular tests that had shown Daubentoniidae was basal to all Lemuriformes, deriving from the same lemur ancestor that rafted to Madagascar during the Paleocene or Eocene.
In 2008, Russell Mittermeier, Colin Groves, others ignored addressing higher-level taxonomy by defining lemurs as monophyletic and containing five living families, including Daubentoniidae. Further evidence indicating that the aye-aye belongs in the superfamily Lemuroidea can be inferred from the presence of petrosal bullae encasing the ossicles of the ear. However, the bones may have some resemblance to those of rodents; the aye-ayes are similar to lemurs in their shorter back legs. The species has an average head and body length of 14–17 inches plus a tail of 22–24 inches, weighs around 4 pounds. Young aye-ayes are silver colored on their front and have a stripe down their back. However, as the aye-ayes begin to reach maturity, their bodies will be covered in thick fur and are not one solid color. On the head and back, the ends of the hair are tipped with white while the rest of the body will ordinarily be a yellow and/or brown color. In length, a full-grown aye-aye is about three feet long with a tail as long as its body.
Among the aye-aye's signature traits are its fingers. The third finger, thinner than the others, is used for tapping, while the fourth finger, the longest, is used for pulling bugs out of trees; the middle finger is unique in. The complex geometry of ridges on the inner surface of aye-aye ears helps to focus not only echolocation signals from the tapping of its finger, but to passively listen for any other sound produced by the prey; these ridges can be regarded as the acoustic equivalent of a Fresnel lens, may be seen in a large variety of unrelated animals, such as lesser galago, bat-eared fox, mouse lemur, others. Females have two nipples located in the region of the groin; the aye-aye is a nocturnal and arboreal animal meaning that it spends most of its life high in the trees. Although they are known to come down to the ground on occasion, aye-ayes sleep, eat and mate in the trees and are most found close to the canopy where there is plenty of cover from the dense foliage. During the day, aye-ayes sleep in spherical nests in the forks of tree branch