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noun, plural: tarsiers

A dry-nosed arboreal primate of the family Tarsiidae that inhabits the Southeast Asia


Tarsiers are species that belong to the family Tarsiidae of the order Primates. They are haplorrhines, i.e. dry-nosed, as opposed to Strepsirrhini primates, which are wet-nosed (rhinarium). Tarsiers are small primates. They typically weigh about 80 to 150 g. They are characterized morphologically by their distinctively large eyes and ears and round heads. Their ears are mobile and hairless. Some of the male tarsiers have dark spots on the ears. Their fur is velvety. Their fur is pale yellowish brown, grayish or dark brown at the back, and grayish or pale yellow brown on front. Their hindlimbs are longer than their body length due to the length of their tarsals, which is a unique feature among other mammals, and thus led to their name. Their digits have tips with soft, rounded toe pads. This feature helps them cling to surfaces.1

Some of the tarsiers species are as follows:

Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Primates
  • Suborder: Haplorrhini
  • Infraorder: Tarsiiformes
  • Family: Tarsiidae [Gray, 1825]

See also:

1 Myers, P. . "Tarsiidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed at