This furry little rascal was caught picking its nose with its long finger during the night, and it seemed to be enjoying it. We humans have all been there before, picking our boogers as children.
A group of scientists were studying the behavior of an endangered species of lemur that resides in Madagascar which is the “Aye-aye”. Their study was titled 'A review of nose picking in primates with new evidence of its occurrence in Daubentonia madagascariensis,” in which “Daubentonia madagascariensis” stands for the scientific name of the lemur.
According to the researchers, the lemur is actually being held captive at the Duke Lemur Center in North Carolina, and she is named Kali. The fascinating video was recorded by Anne-Claire Fabre, a biologist at the University of Bern and lead study author.
'It was inserting the entire length and, when you look at the length of its head, it was like - where is it going?' Fabre said. 'I wondered - is it inserting it into its brain? It was so weird and seemed impossible.'
Lemur recorded picking its nose for the first time
In the video above, we can see Kali sticking her long finger right up her nostrils and picking her boogers, which she then appears to have eaten. Kali may have done this simply out of curiosity, or perhaps she has been doing this for a long time already. The lemur has six fingers, one of which she uses for her personal nose picking.
According to wildlife biologists, these Aye-ayes mainly use their elongated fingers to scrape out food from plants and trees. But recently, it seems that there’s another way to “use” their fingers. It's not the first time animals have been observed picking their noses; chimps and gorillas both have the comical habit.
The lemur's behavior astounded the study's co-author, Roberto Portela Miguez. 'We were in for an even bigger surprise when we used CT scanning to see how the nose picking works internally,' he said.
Following the humorous encounter with our furry friend, biologists performed a CT scan on the lemur following its nose-picking session. The lemur's finger is labeled in green on the image shown below.
'We really think this behaviour is understudied because it's really seen as a bad habit,' Fabre explained. Human studies on the particular behavior have revealed some information as to how common the lemur's habit is, disclosing that the majority of us humans pick our noses frequently but are obviously ashamed to admit it.
As per Professor Fabre, the aye-aye's nose picking could be beneficial to other species since many animals, including chimps and gorillas, express a similar habit. 'I think we really need to investigate it'.