Pygmy Tarsier

Pygmy Tarsier
Pygmy Tarsier, cute!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Rare Pygmy Tarsiers found by Texas Researchers

The nocturnal primate, Pygmy Tarsier also known as Tarsius pumilus, Mountain Tarsier or the Lesser Spectral Tarsier, have found themselves back in the news after being recently spotted in August 2008 by researchers from Texas A&M University on Mount Rore Katimbo in Lore Lindu National Park in central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Although believed to be extinct by 1920, the Pygmy Tarsier had previously been rediscovered in 2000 when one was accidentally caught in a rat trap. The 2008 team from Texas managed to catch 3 Tarsiers and radio collar them to track their movements.

Physically, the Pygmy Tarsier has a lower body weight and a shorter body length than other tarsier species of between 95 and 105 mm and weighs less than 57 grams. In addition, its ears are smaller; its fur is more tan or buff with a high proportion of grey or brownish red colours. It also has a very hairy tail that measures between 135 to 275 mm. The Tarsier has very large eyes of around 16 mm diameter and clawed very long digits). They can usually be found in monogamous pairs and breed both at the beginning of the rainy season and at the end. The offspring develop quickly with the females remaining with the family until adulthood and the males leaving as juveniles.

As with other tarsier species, the Pygmy Tarsier are generally insectivorous (a type of carnivore with a diet that comes mainly from insects) and spend most of the daylight hours sleeping on vertical branches in the canopy. Unlike other species, it does not mark territorial boundaries by the use of scent glands.

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