noun, plural: Philippine tarsiers
A tarsier species endemic to the islands of the Philippines
Tarsiers are species of the family Tarsiidae of the order Primates. They are haplorrhines, i.e. dry-nosed, as opposed to Strepsirrhini primates, which are wet-nosed (rhinarium). The tarsiers are found in the rainforests of Southeast Asia. Similar to other tarsier species, the Philippine tarsiers are characterized by their enormous eyes and large, thin ears relative to their head. Their eyes are also fixed in its skull. They are nocturnal primates and have an excellent field of vision. Their name (tarsier) is derived from another distinctive feature, i.e. having an elongated tarsus (ankle bone). This enables them to leap from tree to tree.
The Philippine tarsiers are endemic to the Philippines, particularly on the islands of Bohol, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao, as well as in Basilan, Dinagat, Maripipi, and Siargao. They are capable of making vertical leaps from tree to tree. They can rotate their head to nearly 360°.1 They are nocturnal and solitary. They are considered to be mammals with the biggest eyes, i.e. 16 mm across, in proportion to their body size.2 They have thin, rough fur with gray to dark brown coloration.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Subphylum: Vertebrata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Primates
- Family: Tarsiidae
- Genus: Tarsius or Carlito
- Tarsius syrichta
- Carlito syrichta
1 Tarsius syrichta. Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved from [].
2 Niemitz, C. (2006) Tarsiers. In: Macdonald, D.W. (Ed) The Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press, Oxford.