Even Though Tarsiers, One Of The Oldest Nocturnal Primates Alive Today, Were Discovered During The Eighteenth Century, Not Many People Know About The Existence Of This Tiny Creature

As mentioned earlier, tarsiers are nocturnal. However, their eyes lack the reflective layer that most other nocturnal animals have to help them see in the dark. As a result, the tarsier’s eyes had to grow bigger to compensate for their lack of night vision.

According to Myron Shekelle, a biology instructor and researcher at Western Washington University, this absence of the reflective layer in the tarsier’s eyes offers some insight into the evolution of primates.

He stated that tarsiers may have once been diurnal primates, which means they were active during the day, so they had no need for the reflective layer in their eyes. Somewhere along the line, they reversed course and became nocturnal again, but they had already lost their reflective layer.

Scientists have long debated over what family of primates the tarsiers belong to. In recent years, evidence has shown that they are the cousins of apes, monkeys, and humans.

So, we are actually related to tarsiers! But don’t count on ever meeting one. Tarsiers have very specific needs, so they don’t do well in captivity. Habitat conservation is the only shot we have to save them from becoming extinct.

Some tarsier species have been listed as endangered or vulnerable due to their small size, human activity, and destruction of their habitats. If researchers can preserve their habitats and monitor their activity, they may be able to help bring up tarsier populations.

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