The tarsiers are the members of the Tarsius genus of prosimian primates, monotypic in the Tarsiidae family and Tarsiiformes infraorder. Strange looking tiny night creatures… it is said that with it’s huge eyes, long tail and hands and feet, the tarsier surely must have been what inspired Steven Spielberg when he created E.T. Close encounters with these strange beings are still a rare opportunity.Tarsiers have enormous eyes and long hands and feetfeet. Their feet have extremely elongated tarsus bones, which is how they got their name, and round heads. Their hairs are wavy and silky. They have a reduced muzzle, short neck and forelimbs and very long hind limbs. The tail is naked except for a few short hairs on the tip. The ears are thin, membranous, and nearly naked. The ears are always moving when tarsiers are awake.
- A tarsier has the ability to rotate its head almost 360 degrees! This helps give them a wide field of vision.
- The long digits are tipped with rounded pads that allow gripping on almost any surface. A few toes have clawlike nails, the rest of the digits have flattened nails. Tarsiers mostly move with vertical clinging and leaping in the trees. They can do so with very little effort.
- When they are not in the trees and on flat surfaces, they leap froglike, with their tail arched over their back. They are tremendous leapers, reaching lengths of 1200-1700 mm high and 600 mm high.
Fact of the Day!
In a way, tarsiers help humans a great deal because they consume large quantities of harmful insects.
In one day, tarsiers can eat 10 percent of their body weight!