Tarsiers are tiny nocturnal primates that were discovered in the eighteenth century. Although they were found so long ago, their existence is little known.
They used to be more widespread but are now confined to the dense forests of Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei.
Fossil records have revealed that tarsiers once lived all over the world and date back to at least 55 million years, making them one of the oldest primates alive today.
With unique features such as their enormous eyes, long fingers, and velvety fur, it’s almost impossible to look away from them. Aside from their physical characteristics, they also have many interesting habits that make them such marvelous creatures.
There are sixteen different species of tarsier, and they range in size from about three and a half to six inches long. Their tails can be twice the length of their round, furry bodies.
Like owls, tarsiers can rotate their heads 180 degrees. Additionally, their long limbs let them move like lemurs, leaping through the trees where they make their homes. In fact, the length of their legs and tarsals (ankle bones) is where tarsiers get their name.
The tarsier’s fingers are also incredibly long. The ends of their fingers have small, sticky pads that are used for hanging onto branches to help them hunt for food.
Tarsiers are the only primate species on the planet that is entirely carnivorous. They typically feast on insects, lizards, snakes, frogs, bats, and birds.
One of the most notable features of tarsiers is their eyes. Out of any mammal, tarsiers have the largest eyes relative to their body size. Since their eyes are so big, they are unable to rotate them, which is why they have the ability to twist their necks in either direction.