Monday, January 27, 2014

The Cute Looking Philippine Tarsier

By Eduardo C. Gonzalez

The Philippine Tarsier is a very strange and queer looking animal. It is one of the smallest animals in the world. It can fit into an adult person's hand. These animals are very active at night.Their diet consists mostly of insects. The Philippine Tarsiers are scientifically known as ( Tarsus Syrchia ). They are found in Bohol, Leyte and Mindanao. The Tarsiers of Bohol are considered one of the world's smallest primates. In the Philippines this is an endangered species due to illegal loggers, among other threats. In the Philippines you can find three types of species. In Samar and Leyte, they are known as as T. Philipinesis. In Bohol it is known as T. Fraterculous and in Mindanao it is known as T. Carbonarius. You can find tarsiers also in Borneo, Sumatra and in Sulawesi, Indonesia. The Philippine Tarsier is said to be the oldest land animal species in the Philippines.

The Philippine Tarsier has gray fur and almost no fur at all in its tail. Their middle fingers are extendedly long. The length of their head and body are between 118 to 149 forty nine millimeters, or 14.9 centimeters. Their weight is around 113 to 149 grams, or about 5.25 oz maximum.

Their eyes are so big, with bony eye sockets that are bigger than their the case of either their stomach or brain case. The sockets of their eyes have post orbital closures (a bony wall). This keeps their eyeballs from being pushed by their strong temporal muscles (muscles used in eating) to the sides.

Their tails are some 232 centimeters long with practically no hair, swave for a tiny, bushy cluster at its tip. Their tails are used to keep them in balance. They prefer to have a straight standing posture. Their teeth are very sharp and this makes it easier for them to get hold of their prey. Tarsiers have only two incisor teeth on their lower jaw. Their heads strongly resemble that of owls. However, unlike owls, tarsiers possess a joint in the middle of it's skull base and spine. This allows its head to swivel at a 180 degree turn. The brain of an adult tarsier weighs four grams.

The name "tarsier" comes from their very large ankles that are integrated into the lower portions of their bodies. The ankles perform like suspension springs which, along with their lower limbs allow them to to jump like frogs, three meters, from tree to tree. The length of the ankles and lower limbs equal thrice the length of the tarsier's trunk.

Tarsiers live in and around the base of tree trunks and in the roots of plants like bamboos. Sometimes they reside in holes atop trees.

These animals hunt at night. With it's wide eyes open at day, they hide in sunken areas in the ground. When They live in captivity, they intermingle with each other. The females take care of their young ones. They eat leftovers of animal prey, crickets and cockroaches. In captivity they eat shrimp and fish with a bowl of water alongside.

They emit several sounds, some of which can be heard by humans, although a PMC report suggests they also communicate in ultrasound. The sounds which we can hear range from a loud piercing call to a sweet - like bird trill indicating a meeting of opponents. When engaging in conversation, they emit a chirping sound similar to a locust. Bird-like chirps indicate a tarsier is iin heat. Females make a unique, high pitched chirp when they are fertile. It is rather extraordinary.

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