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Spectral tarsier

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noun, plural: spectral tarsiers

A tarsier species that inhabits the forests of Indonesia, such as Sulawesi, Pulau Peleng, and Pulua Selajar


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 arboreal species and therefore are found in the rainforests. Tarsiers are characterized by their enormous eyes and large, thin ears relative to their head. Their eyes are also fixed in its skull. 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 with ease.

The spectral tarsiers are a species of tarsiers that is found in Indonesia, such as Sulawesi, Pulau Peleng, and Pulua Selajar. They prefer secondary-growth rainforests as habitats although they are also found in primary-growth rainforests. This preference may be associated with the greater abundance of food in secondary-growth forests.1 Morphologically, they are a distinctive species such that they lack adhesive toes in contrast to other tarsier species that have adhesive toes such as the Philippine tarsiers and western tarsiers. Spectral tarsiers have a velvety fur with a coloration that varies from gray to buff-gray. Their long, scaly tail has tufts of fur on the distal third of the tail and may reach between 20 and 26 cm. Male spectral tarsiers are heavier than females. The males weigh between 118 g and 130 g whereas the females weigh between 102 g and 114 g.

Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Primates
  • Family: Tarsiidae
  • Genus: Tarsius
  • Species:
  • Tarsius spectrum [Erxleben, 1777]
  • Tarsius tarsier

See also:

1 Mogk, K. 2012. "Tarsius tarsier" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed at [[1]].