Tarsier is a unique species of primate that lives in South and East Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, and the southern Philippines). All tarsiers are divided into three groups based on geographic location: Western Tarsiers, Eastern Tarsiers, and Filipino Tarsiers. different subspecies of tarsians, but they all look very similar. Tarsiers prefer to live in lowland or low mountain forests, mangroves and bushland. of the pet trade.
Tarsiers were once more widespread — fossils have been found in Asia, Europe, and North America. All the species living today are restricted to the islands of Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Sulawesi, Borneo, and Sumatra.
Tarsiers are sized as a squirrel. They can reach 3.6 to 6.4 inches in length, and between 2.8 and 5.8 ounces in weight.
Tarsiers have the largest eyes of any mammal in relation to their body size. Each eyeball is about 16 mm in diameter and weighs nearly as much as the animal’s brain.
Tarsiers have a body covered in fur that can be ochre, brown, gold or grey in color.
Tarsiers, thanks to specially adapted vertebrae, are able to turn their heads 180 degrees in each direction.
Tarsiers have extremely large eyes and ears, and long tail and hind legs. All these features are essential for the successful life in the treetops.
The hind limbs of tarsiers are about twice as long as their bodies, due mostly to the extremely elongated tarsus bones of the feet, from which the animals get their name.
Tarsiers are nocturnal (active during the night) and arboreal (spend their life on trees) animals. They have excellent eyesight and sense of hearing, which help them locate the prey and avoid the predators.
Tarsiers have long, thin fingers, with the longest third finger about the same length as the upper arm.
Eyes of tarsiers have 0.63 inches in diameter. Each eye is heavier than the brain. They have the largest eyes (compared to the body size) of all mammals.
Their fingers are tipped with sticky pads that help them grip and cling to surfaces.
Tarsiers are carnivorous animals (meat-eaters). Their diet consists mainly of insects, but they can also eat small birds, bats, lizards and snakes.
The second and third fingers bear long, curved claws which are used for grooming (these are sometimes called “toilet claws”).
Tarsiers catch their prey by leaping from one branch to another. They can leap a distance of up to 16.4 feet. Fingers and toes are equipped with pads and long nails which help them grip both the branches and the prey.
They have a unique connection between their eyes and the lateral geniculate nucleus, an area of the brain that receives visual information.
Tarsiers have another unique feature: they can rotate their head for 180 degrees without moving the rest of the body. This helps them remain “silent” while waiting for the prey to appear.
Social behavior varies between the tarsier species. Eastern tarsiers are the most sociable, living in small family groups, while Western tarsiers appear to be more solitary.
Main predators of tarsiers are cats, birds of prey and large snakes.
Tarsiers eat mostly insects, but also prey on birds, snakes, and lizards.
Most subspecies of tarsiers are solitary and territorial animals. Each animal require one hectare of territory for itself.
They have strong jaws and teeth and a wide mouth for their small size, which enables them to consume larger prey.
Tarsiers spray urine on the tree branches to mark their territory.
Female tarsiers give birth to a single baby that weighs 25-30% of the mother’s body weight.
Tarsiers communicate with each other using various sounds. Type of vocalization depends on the species.
Young tarsiers are born with fur and their eyes open and can climb trees within a day of birth.
Tarsiers gather during the mating season. Pregnancy lasts 180 days and ends with one baby. Infants (babies) are covered with fur, have open eyes and they are able to move by jumping one day after birth.
They have scent glands in their face, stomach, and genital regions and rub their glands on trees, bushes, and each other to defend territories and confirm group membership.
Babies depend on their mother for the first two months of their life. After that period, they leave their mother and begin solitary life.
The number and types of vocalizations vary between species, with spectral tarsiers producing 15 different groups of vocalizations (including alarm calls, food calls, infant calls, and play whistles) and Western tarsiers producing just four kinds of calls. In some tarsier species, mated pairs perform vocal duets, often at dusk and dawn.
Life span of tarsiers depends on the species. It is usually between 12 and 20 years in the wild. Tarsiers are very sensitive to a life in captivity and very small percent of animals manage to survive behind the bars.