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Tarsier

Tarsier

A small insectivorous, tree-dwelling, nocturnal primate with large eyes, a long tufted tail, and long hind limbs, native to the islands of Southeast Asia.

 

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Adrian Kimmok

Adrian Kimmok

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Curated Facts

Emitting a number of different vocal calls, male and female tarsiers are known to employ a vocal duet with distinct parts. This duet, captured in Life, reinforces family bonding but can be used to gather the group. The male and female may also break out into their duet when trying to ward off an intruder.

Article: SPECTRAL TARSIER
Source: Animal

Breeding in spring and winter, the female will give birth to one offspring after about 27 weeks. Almost immediately, the baby tarsier can move and climb on its own, although the female will often carry her young in her mouth while she hunts.

Article: SPECTRAL TARSIER
Source: Animal

These legs, or hind limbs, are twice as long as the tarsier's head and torso, and their lengthy toes have pads that aid in climbing. (The genus name Tarsius actually refers to the animal's long tarsal, or anklebone.) Their feet also feature sharp claws on the second and third toes. These toes are used for grooming, earning them the rather unflattering nickname of "toilet claws."

Article: SPECTRAL TARSIER
Source: Animal

Climbing, as well as leaping, is one of the predominant forms of locomotion, and that all other things being equal, tarsiers tend to take off from, and land on, similar sized supports, which suggests that the following findings are not likely to be a result of substrate availability alone. Small body size lead to a prediction that tarsiers should leap down but climb up: this was not sustained: rather leaps tend to be level, and climbing accounts for more height loss than randomly expected.

Article:   Vertical Clinging and Lea…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Polygynous groups were also more likely to use Ficus caulocarpa trees than were the monogamous groups. Polygynous groups consistently used more sleeping sites as well as larger diameter sleeping trees, than did monogamous groups. The large-diameter fig trees are ideal homes for the spectral tarsiers in that they offer multiple entrances and exits as well as protection from the elements.

Article:   Intraspecific Variation i…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

While most animals make considerable effort to avoid their predators, numerous species, like the tarsier, are known for their tendency to approach and confront their predators as a group. This behavior is known as mobbing, and was observed in fish, birds, mammals, and primates.

Article:   Function of Snake Mobbing…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

The spectral tarsier, Tarsius spectrum, is a small nocturnal primate. It lives in groups of 2-10 individuals, which defend their territories through scent-marking and vocal duets. Approximately one territorial dispute occurs every other night.

Article:   Dispersal Patterns in Tar…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

One of the most widely accepted explanations for the difference in the sex bias between mammals and birds is that male-biased dispersal in mammals is due to the preponderance of polygynous mating systems exhibited by this class, whereas birds are predominantly monogamous. Spectral tarsiers ( Tarsius spectrum) are unusual in that they exhibit variation in its mating system. Although the majority of spectral tarsier groups are monogamous, ca. 15% are polygynous.

Article:   Dispersal Patterns in Tar…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

The phylogenetic position of tarsiers relative to anthropoids and Paleogene omomyids remains a subject of lively debate that lies at the center of research into anthropoid origins. Omomyids have long been regarded as the nearest relatives of tarsiers, but a sister group relationship between anthropoids and tarsiers has also been proposed. These conflicting phylogenetic reconstructions rely heavily on comparisons of cranial anatomy, but until now, the fossil record of tarsiers has been limited to a single jaw and several isolated teeth.

Article:   Cranial remains of an Eoc…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Two tarsier species, Tarsius sangirensis from Sangihe Island and Tarsius tumpara from Siau Island are at risk from a small extent of occurrence and area of occupancy, small population size, high risk of volcanism, high human population density, fragmented populations (many of which are in marginal habitat), and lack of conservation areas for either species.

Article:   An acute conservation thr…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Tarsiers have been proposed as flagship species to promote conservation in the biogeographical region that includes Sulawesi and surrounding island chains. Therefore, identifying and naming cryptic tarsier species and determining their conservation status is not only a priority for tarsier conservation but also for regional biodiversity conservation.

Article:   An acute conservation thr…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Tarsier ecomorphology evolved to minimize the costs of being
extraordinarily “top heavy,” carrying a heavy load that is roughly equivalent to 3
brains.

Article:   The Skull of Tarsius: Fun…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal
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