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Tarsierfamily Tarsiidaeany of about 13 species of small leaping primates found only on various islands of Southeast Asiaincluding the Philippines. Tarsiers are intermediate in form between lemurs and monkeysmeasuring only about 9—16 cm 3.

Tarsiers are lemurlike tarser being nocturnal and having a well-developed sense of smell. However, like monkeys, apesand humans, they have a nose that is dry and hair-covered, not tarser and bald as is that of lemurs. The eyes and placenta are also simiiform in structure. The size of the eyes and visual cortex is probably made necessary by the absence of a reflective layer tapetum that the eyes of most other nocturnal mammals possess.

The face is short, with large, membranous ears that are almost constantly in motion. The fur is thick, silky, and coloured gray to dark brown. Tarsiers are the only entirely carnivorous primatespreying on insectslizards tarser, and snakes. Clinging upright to treesthey press the tail against the trunk for support. Their grip is also aided by the tips of their digits, which are expanded into disklike adhesive p. Tarsiers move through the forest by launching themselves from trunk to trunk propelled by their greatly elongated hind limbs.

Adults live in monogamous pairs and keep in contact vocally during the night, defending territory against other pairs using extremely high-pitched calls. On the island of Celebes Sulawesi these calls are duets—different but complementary calls made by the tarser and female. Single young are born in a fairly well-developed state, furred and with eyes open, after a gestation of perhaps six months. Species differ so much across this range that some authorities are inclined to classify them in different genera.

In Indonesia and Malaysia the Western tarsier Tarsius bancanus has huge bulging eyes, making the head broader than it is long; it also has the longest feet, and its tail is tufted at the tip. It thrives in both old-growth and secondary forests but can also be found in low scrubby vegetation, even around villages. The South Sulawesior spectral, tarsier T.

There are several species on Celebes and its offshore islands, but most have not yet been described scientifically. The most distinctive is the high-mountain pygmy tarsier T. Until it was rediscovered inthe last living pygmy tarsier specimen had been seen in The Philippine tarsier T. Human settlement in its habitat threatens its continued existence. Tarsier taxonomy is a matter of some debate; however, most biologists divide Tarsiidae into three genera TarsiusCephalopachusand Carlito [Philippine tarsiers] tarser recognize 13 or more species. At least one taxonomy, however, recognizes only seven species and places all of these within Tarsius.

Tarsiers are classified with monkeys, apesand humans infraorder Simiiformes in the suborder Haplorrhini, but it constitutes a separate infraorder, Tarsiiformes. Videos Images.

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Additional Info. Home Science Mammals Primates Tarsier primate. Print Cite verified Cite. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies.

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Also Known As: Tarsiidae Show more. Full Article. An overview of tarsiers, including a visit to a tarsier sanctuary on Bohol island, Philippines. Enormous tarser and padded digits are adaptations that evolved in the tarser Tarsiusa nocturnal arboreal primate of the rainforests of Southeast Asia. Britannica Quiz. Know Your Mammals Quiz.

Where can you find a capybara? How many cervical vertebrae do giraffes have? Test your knowledge of mammals by taking this quiz. The spectral tarsier Tarsius tarsier is native to the Indonesian island of Celebes Sulawesi. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources classifies the spectral tarsier as a vulnerable species. Horsefield's tarsier Tarsius bancanus is native to southern Sumatra and Borneo. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:.

The order Primates, including more than tarser, is the third most diverse order of mammals, after rodents Rodentia and bats Chiroptera. Family Tarsiidae tarsiers 1 genus, about 7 Asian species. Infraorder Simiiformes 8 living and 6 fossil families dating to the Early Miocene.

Platyrrhini New…. The Eocene Tarsiidae, represented by the European species Necrolemur antiquusfound in the Quercy deposits of France, and Afrotarsius chatrathifrom the Fayum of Egypt, are likely to contain the ancestor of the modern genus Tarsius. History at your fingertips. up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox! address.

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Philippine tarsier