Join our zoo community

Which EDGE mammal interests you more: The red panda or the aye-aye ? (poll)

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 8 Mar 2021.

?

Which EDGE mammal interests you more: The Red panda or the Aye-aye? (poll)

Poll closed 18 Mar 2021.
  1. Red panda

    31.6%
  2. Aye-aye

    68.4%
  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Another poll in a series for zoochatters to vote for one of two EDGE mammal species. This time it is a contest of a species traditionally considered "cute / cuddly" and one typically seen as "weird / spooky": the aye-aye vs the red panda.

    Both are arboreal mammals, both are classified as endangered by the IUCN and both have unusual morphologies with "pseudothumbs" that have evolved due to highly specialized feeding ecologies.

    Which of these mammal species interests you most / will you vote for ?


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Please also feel free to write comments regarding why you made the choice and why the species you have voted for interests you more.

    Thanks !

    Look forward to seeing the results!

    Photo credits to @KevinB and @gentle lemur.
     
    Last edited: 8 Mar 2021
    KevinB likes this.
  2. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    30 Jul 2018
    Posts:
    6,834
    Location:
    Somewhere near a zoo
    For me, I choose Red Panda.

    Aye Aye fascinate me, but in the end, Red Panda interests me more. The way they go about their lives, their incredible climbing skills, and their docile nature is what really interests me about them. Here in Australia, they are commonly kept in zoos, and are a popular ambassador for endangered species. They are extremely cute and their physical appearance is quite striking. They are a hard species to miss.
     
  3. KevinB

    KevinB Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    11 Apr 2015
    Posts:
    2,328
    Location:
    Flanders
    Both are species with unique adaptations and specializations, but personally I voted for the red panda.

    My main reason for this vote is my familiarity with this species, having seen it numerous times over the year. The red panda also used to be in the logo of both of my local zoos (Zoo Antwerpen and Zoo Planckendael, which are managed by the same society), until 2007. I still enjoy searching the red pandas on zoo visit to any zoo that has them, and love the times when they are awake and show themselves well.

    I also find the facet of a member of the order Carnivora adapting to and surviving on a mostly vegetarian diet of a plant that is neither highly nutritious nor easily digestible for a species that does not possess a four-chambered stomach or hindgut fermentation to be very interesting, as are its adaptations to living an arboreal lifestyle. With regards to diet a specialized insectivorous diet is not nearly as unusual for a primate as the red panda's bamboo diet, although the aye aye is admittedly quite large for an insectivorous primate and its ways of getting insects are indeed weird and unique.

    As mentioned above, red pandas definitely have the ability to be popular ambassador species for endangered species and for their native range and habitats. I have noticed in zoos that for a relatively sleepy and sometimes a little cryptic species they are certainly popular with visitors. I think Madagascar probably would have more popular and appealing ambassador species then the aye aye, even if one foregoes the very popular ring-tailed lemur.

    That said, the aye aye is also a fascinating species - and the fact that all species can be fascinating in their own right and have unique aspects always make these polls very difficult in my opinion.

    PS: @Onychorhynchus coronatus thank you for using my photo as an example of the species.
     
    Last edited: 8 Mar 2021
  4. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Thanks for voting and your comment!

    They are cute indeed and definitely seem to be a popular ambassador species and in addition very interesting from both a conversation and evolutionary biology perspective.

    For me though personally I had to vote for the aye-aye due to its singular and eerily beautiful and gothic look, fascinating ecology and evolution and its conservation plight.
     
    Jambo likes this.
  5. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    No problem :) its a great portrait of the red panda so had to use it.

    Yes , absolutely agree, they are fascinating from an evolutionary perspective and they certainly tick all of the boxes for being a popular ambassador species for the public.

    Again , sadly have to agree about the poor old aye-aye, it isn't ever going to have the crowd appeal of "cuter" lemurs like the ring tailed or ruffed.

    Nevertheless, I'm very fond of the aye-aye so voted accordingly.
     
    Last edited: 8 Mar 2021
    Birdsage likes this.
  6. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Interestingly seems to be a very close one.
     
  7. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
  8. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    7 Mar 2015
    Posts:
    16,465
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Aye-aye hands down. Nepalese red pandas are held in the three main New Zealand zoos I regularly visit and although I enjoy seeing them (especially cubs), I’d be far more interested to see an Aye-aye, which I would rarely get the opportunity to see.

    I think in any case, the species (or subspecies) we see in our local zoos are the ones we have the most affinity for e.g. the Sumatran tiger is my favourite subspecies of tiger; but for sheer novelty factor, I doubt there’s few ZooChatters who would turn down the chance to see something new!

    To be fair, you did say red panda, which includes the Chinese subspecies, but I think I will still have to go with the Aye-aye! :cool:
     
  9. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Thanks for voting and the comment @Zoofan15 !

    I think both the Chinese and Nepalese red pandas are becoming far more common in zoos and they seem to be pretty popular animals with a lot of crowd appeal.

    Sumatran tigers are beautiful, definitely my favourite subspecies of tiger too, very striking.

    Why do you like the aye-aye ? why does it interest you ?
     
    Zoofan15 likes this.
  10. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    7 Mar 2015
    Posts:
    16,465
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Funnily enough, the Siberian tiger used to be my favourite subspecies, having spent my early childhood in England. I now prefer the Sumatran tigers I grew up seeing in Australasia’s zoos; but still support England in rugby for obvious reasons. :p

    I like the Aye-aye because it’s a quirky and unusual animal. It’s superstitious associations also add to its air of mystery.
     
  11. JT

    JT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Oct 2020
    Posts:
    502
    Location:
    UK
    I think personally I just know more about them, they’re very common here in UK zoos and are a charismatic species, that’s not to say I don’t like aye-ayes, I just think in general the red panda edges it for me.
     
  12. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    I think the Sumatran tiger is the most visually beautiful of the subspecies, I think its the darker stripes and richer shade of orange / russet of the pelt.

    Totally agree, I think that aura of malevolence that it has in Malagasy folklore just add to the appeal.

    Yes, they definitely outnumber the aye-aye in zoos.

    I think the red panda would be one of those traditionally charismatic species that ticks a lot of people's boxes.

    Afterall, it is cute , vibrantly coloured, has a superficial resemblance in body shape to domestic cats and the connection in name and the appearance of the face to the superstar giant panda.

    A bit of trivia on red pandas , one of India's presidents , cant remember if it was Indira Ghandi or Nehru, was so fond of the red panda that they kept them as pets throughout their life.
     
    Last edited: 11 Mar 2021
    JT likes this.
  13. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member 15+ year member Premium Member

    Joined:
    16 Nov 2008
    Posts:
    3,168
    Location:
    London, England
    Link below includes a photograph of Nehru playing with his pet red panda

    Chacha Nehru and his furry friends
     
  14. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Tim May likes this.
  15. JT

    JT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Oct 2020
    Posts:
    502
    Location:
    UK
    I also think they’d be a good species to work with should I get the chance.
     
  16. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    You would like to work with this species within a zoo as a zookeeper?
     
  17. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member 15+ year member Premium Member

    Joined:
    16 Nov 2008
    Posts:
    3,168
    Location:
    London, England
    Red pandas are, of course, a charismatic species with a very interesting taxonomic history; however, I frequently saw red pandas on childhood zoo visits so they never had the same appeal for me as the mysterious aye-aye.

    I first read about aye-ayes when I was a young child and became fascinated by this strange nocturnal lemur; my interest grew when I learned it was once believed to be a rodent not a primate....

    There were no aye-ayes in European zoos when I was a child so I didn't think I'd ever be lucky enough to see one. I'll never forget my excitement at seeing my first aye-aye in Vincennes Zoo (Paris) in 1987 so I had to vote for the aye-aye.

    (As mentioned elsewhere on ZooChat Vincennes had an amazing lemur collection about this time.)
     
  18. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Thanks for sharing Tim !

    I actually had no idea that red pandas have been commonly kept for a while in zoos so this is quite interesting to find out.

    I suppose I always assumed that they had been a relatively recently established species in European zoos long after the giant panda and that this was largely due to the connection with the giant panda and its popularity.

    Yes , definitely an enigmatic species , and I can quite see why the aye-aye was mislabeled as a rodent for so long due to those bizarre looking incisors.
     
    Last edited: 11 Mar 2021
  19. JT

    JT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Oct 2020
    Posts:
    502
    Location:
    UK
    I hope to be a keeper one day, it's all I've ever seen myself doing and obviously I'm open to other things in the field of zoology and conservation, but yes to answer your question, if I were to become a zookeeper I think they'd be a good species to work with.
     
  20. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Wish you luck in achieving your goals Jude !