Peculiar Primate: Tarsier

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The Tarsier, is the oldest primate in the world. The species has lived for over 45 billions of years. It’s referred to as a “treasure,” looks like a tiny alien, and is mostly unknown to the world. Sometimes mistaken for owls, and some say it looks like E.T. and they’re also “Spirits of the Forests,” possibly because of their huge eyes. Born with blue eyes which turn brown over 2 weeks, Tarsiers have the largest eyes of any mammal. The Tarsiers have a joint between the base of the skull and spine, which allows its head to turn almost 360 degrees. The Tarsier lives in South-East Asia, in the forests of the Philippines only on 4 islands. They are perfectly adapted to the tropical rainforest. The Tarsier is a predator, it hunts insects above ground, but only live prey. It hunts based on sound and sight, it has mobile ears that work together to pinpoint the exact location of an insect. So when it rains, it’s harder for the Tarsier to hunt since it ruins the sound adaptation. The Tarsier’s long slender fingers are for the grasping of branches. It’s hind legs give the ability of leaping almost 3 meters, and a long tail to balance itself. It’s actually two primate mixes of lemurs + ape. The Tarsier is nocturnal, and a very hidden creature, especially since he’s VERY small. In fact some farmers thought of them as rats that ate their crops. Tarsiers are sold as pets to people, and are pretty popular, since they sit calmly in your hand (their whole body, that’s how small they are!) When they are hunted by people and put into cages, to be sold, some Tarsiers commit suicide due to the captivity. The Philippine government put Tarsiers on the endangered species list. So there was no hunting of Tarsiers allowed anymore. In 1996 a foundation was solely created to protect the Tarsiers called “Philippine Tarsier Foundation.” The Tarsier was also going extinct not just because of

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