Saturday, April 3, 2010

Meet the Tarsier!

The Tarsier is one of the smallest primates in the world. Its body is between 3.35 inches and 6.3 inches long, so roughly the size of a human fist. It lives in forests on a few islands in Southeast Asia. There are many things that make this nocturnal animal an odd little guy. The Tarsier's eyes are the biggest of any land mammal, the equivalent of a human having grapefruit-sized eyes! Its extremely long fingers are tipped with rounded pads that assist in gripping. Every digits has flat nails except for the second and third toes, which have sharp claws for grooming. Their first toe on each foot is opposable, like our thumb, but their thumbs are not.

The Tarsier is an endangered species due mostly to the destruction of its habitat for slash-and-burn agriculture. Also, people used to catch them and sell them as stuffed animals to tourists or sell them as pets. Sadly, Tarsiers don't last long as pets because they can't handle the stress and solitude.

1 comment:

  1. A wonder if Tarsiers are cousins of the Slow Loris??? Can't wait to see what you show us next!