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Wallaces tarsier

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noun, plural: Wallace's tarsiers

A tarsier species that inhabits the forests of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, and characterized by being larger than pygmy tarsiers based on head-and-body length


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.

Wallace's tarsiers are found in the forests, south of Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. They are larger than pygmy tarsiers. The head-body length of Wallace's tarsiers is between 100 and 150 mm whereas that of pygmy tarsiers ranges from 95 to 105 mm. Other distinctive feature that makes Wallace's tarsiers different from the other tarsier species is their fur coloration and tail. Their fur is yellowish-brown and their tail has a large bushy tuft. Genetic analysis and vocalization (duetting call) are also markedly different from other tarsiers in Sulawesi.

Their name is derived from Alfred Russel Wallace, a British naturalist.

Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Primates
  • Family: Tarsiidae
  • Genus: Tarsius
  • Species: Tarsius wallacei

See also: