Tarsiers are the smallest primates that live on trees and are nocturnal. The tarsiers have a small and sturdy body with a long tail. Their body is covered with soft fur, which varies in color from brown to gray or reddish-brown. These species have long legs that help them to move about in trees. To grip themselves on the trees, they use their long fingers and nails. They also have large ears that are sensitive so that they can discover the smallest sound. These species have a distinctive feature, they have long curved claws on the second and third fingers, which they use to groom themselves. Tarsiers can rotate their heads in 360 degrees, just like an owl.
Tarsiers Scientific Name:
The binomial name for tarsiers istarsiidae.
What do Tarsiers Eat?
Tarsiers are the only primates that are carnivorous. They mainly feed on insects, birds, lizards, bats, and snakes.
Tarsiers Big Eyes:
The eyes of the tarsiers are giant as their brain; the broad, convex eyes help them to hunt their food quickly and keep them attentive from their prey.
All tarsiers are divided into three significant species the western tarsiers, the eastern tarsiers, and the Philippines tarsiers. Tarsiers are also distinguished as subspecies, the number of subspecies is 18.
Eastern tarsier is also known by the name, spectral tarsier or Sulawesi tarsier. The Scientifically eastern tarsier is called a Tarsius spectrum. The eastern tarsier habitats in the east of Borneo, west of Maluku Island and south of Sulu archipelago. Male tarsiers are more extensive than female tarsiers; males are about 14 inches in length, whereas females are 13.5 inches. Male spectral weighs 4 ounces, and the female weighs 3.5 ounces. The average lifespan of eastern tarsiers is between 8 and 12 years.
Tarsiers are mainly meat-eating mammals that feed on small, noisy insects such as cicadas and rhinoceros. The other diet of eastern tarsiers includes the grasshopper, crickets, moths, and butterflies. Eastern tarsiers roam in groups of 8 to 12 individuals. The gestation period lasts for about 193 days, after which the female gives birth to a single breed. The international union for conservation of nature has classified the eastern species as vulnerable. Spectral tarsiers are generally threatened for habitat loss and human activities.
Western tarsiers are also called as the Horsfield’s tarsier, scientifically known as cephalopachusbancanus. They are native to Southeast Asia, the island of Borneo, Indonesia, and Malaysia. From the head to the body, male tarsiers are between 4.5 and 5.5 inches, which add another 8 to 9.3 inches long tails. The average weight of a male tarsier is 4.8 ounces, and a female weighs to 4.5 ounces. In the wild, the average lifespan of a Horsfield tarsier is 15 years, being entirely carnivorous, these species feeds on butterflies, grasshoppers, ants, and locusts. Their meal also includes some poisonous species like a bat, frog, and snakes. Western tarsiers breed throughout the year; after an evolutionary period of six months, the female will give birth to a single offspring. The IUCN declared these species as vulnerable. Horsfield is threatened by human activities like deforestation, fires, and agricultural pesticides.
Scientifically known as carlitosyrichta, Philippines tarsiers are native to the Philippine archipelago. The population of these small primates is mainly found on the islands of Dinagat, Maripipi, Samar, Mindanao, Bohol, and Leyte. The average weight of a male tarsier is 0.35 pounds, and the female weighs even lighter than males. These species have long tarsus bone; that is why they are named after this. The main diet of the Philippines consists of grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, and lizards. The Philippines are nocturnal creatures; they are able to see and hunt in the darkness. In female tarsier, the gestation takes place for around six months. The new infants are born with open eyes and weigh 25 percent of their mother’s weight. Before the infants became independent, they care for six months. The current population of Philippine tarsier is decreasing and is listed as near threatened by the IUCN. Habitat loss is the main threat for these species; they are also hunted by humans and desired as a pet for trade.
The Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary:
The Philippine Tarsier wildlife sanctuary is located on Bohol Island; the Philippine Tarsier Foundation officially runs that. The foundation works towards the protection of the tarsiers; the shelter has a store where tourists can purchase t-shirts, key chains, and caps, which indicates the conservation of tarsiers and their habitats.
Philippine Tarsier Endangered:
Philippine Tarsier are now endangered or threatened, and some species of tarsier are designated critically endangered. Threats include habitat destruction, hunting, agricultural pollutants, and human disturbance. In many cases, they die quickly of over-stress by committing suicide.