Tarsier

Species: Tarsius syrichta, Tarsius bancanus, Tarsius spectrum.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Male Ht. .4 ft., Wt. .4 lbs. Female Ht. .4 ft., Wt. .4 lbs. Coat: Gray to gray-buff, faces slightly more ochre, tail tuft sparse. Long lower limbs. Very large eyes; eye weight exceeds that of brain weight. Exceptional night vision. Vertical clinger-leaper; extraordinary jumping ability. Longevity: about 8-12 years in wild.

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION: Islands of SE Asia.

ECOLOGY: Nocturnal arboreal forager. Primary and secondary rain forest. Nightly routine: 20% travel, 20% resting, 40% insect feeding. Home range: .1 km2 Night range: .2 km. Predation not well studied, probably infrequent for adults.

DIET: Insects (80%), prey (birds, snakes, bats) (20%). Eat 10% of body weight per day.

SOCIAL ORGANIZATION: Variable among species, some polygynous with no male parental care, others monogamous family groups with little male parental care, adult pair + juveniles and infants. Solitary foraging, infants are "parked" in safe nests. Exclusive core area territories, urine marking, some overlap of territorial fringes. Male transfer at about 1 yr. Females may remain near their parents territory. Males and females sing duets.

REPRODUCTION: Males sexually mature at 1 yr. Females sexually mature at 1 yr. Gestation length: 6 months. No estrus swellings. Litter size: 1. Interbirth interval: 1 yr. Infant birth wt.: .15 lbs.

PARENTAL CARE: Females transport and nurse. Fathers may protect in Western Tarsier. Weaning at .5 yr.

TOPIC OF SPECIAL INTEREST: Taxonomic position between prosimians and monkeys. Locomotion pattern.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES:

MacKinnon, J.R. and MacKinnon, K.S. 1980. The behaviour of wild spectral tarsiers. International Journal of Primatology 1: 361-379.

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