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This Lemur’s Creepily Long Finger Is Perfect for Nose-Picking

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A long-fingered lemur has been caught on camera picking its nose—and eating the slimy goods.

The culprit was Kali, an aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) at the Duke Lemur Center who now has the dubious honor of being the first of her species ever observed nose-picking, researchers say. What makes this all the more impressive is that aye-ayes do it with their bizarrely long middle fingers; when fully inserted in her nose, Kali’s reached all the way into her throat. “I was really impressed,” says Anne-Claire Fabre, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Bern and the curator of mammals at the Natural History Museum Bern. She and her colleagues reported the findings in the Journal of Zoology.

Fabre was studying lemur grasp when she happened to catch Kali “digging for gold.” She and her team subsequently searched in the research literature for other examples of primate nose-pickers and found that at least 12 species are guilty of the habit. Others include chimpanzees, gorillas, capuchin monkeys and, yes, humans. Surveys have found nose-picking to be…

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