The tarsier is a small primate native to southeastern Asia. This is one strange animal.
- The animal’s most noticeable feature is its large eyes. Each eye is over 1.5 centimeters in diameter at full maturity, which is the same size as the creature’s brain. This helps them with their nocturnal activities.
- If our eyes were as large as those of the tarsier, they would be the size of grapefruits.
- Another anomalous feature on this creature is its strangely long back legs and feet. Tarsiers received their name for their long tarsus bone.
- The tarsier’s first three fingers have fingernails, but the fourth and fifth have claws for grooming.
- Its neck can be rotated 180 degrees.
They are mainly insectivorous, but will also hunt snakes, bats, and birds. They move quickly by jumping from tree to tree. They have the ability to climb and leap one day after they are born. During the day tarsiers sleep in tree trunks and shrubs.
The Cosmic Perspective
Although the tarsier is a primate, it is not a monkey. However, the only other tree-dwelling mammals that have circular nostrils that project sideways like the tarsier, are monkeys. To this day, scientists are trying to understand the exact taxonomy and connection between the two genuses.