Philippine Tarsier

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Philippine tarsier is the world's smallest monkey. It is a very small mammal, a primate, which is only about the size of a human hand about 9-16 cm (3.5-6 inches) long, excluding the tail, which is about twice that length. Scientists say the tarsier falls somewhere between the lemurs and monkeys on the evolutionary scale. Their relatives in the fossil record are found going back to the Eocene epoch, from 54 to 36 million years ago. They only weigh from 4.5 to 5.5 ounces. Males are heavier. Philippine tarsier are capable of turning their head in any direction through a full 180 degrees, much like an owl.

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Once upon a time, this little animal could be found in Europe and North America, but today it is only found in southeastern Asia in coastal forests near creeks and rivers.
Philippine tarsier is nocturnal and arboreal, propelling themselves from branch to branch with their powerful hind legs, sometimes leaping up to 10 feet. They have soft pads on their fingers and toes that allow them to grip branches. When on the ground they hop. Philippine tarsier is named for their special elongated tarsal bones. They feed on insects and lizards and also small fish and crabs.

Philippine tarsier life span is about 13 years. The gestation is about 180 days. There is only one offspring produced each year and raised by the female. They may found particularly on the islands of Samar, Leyte, Bohol, and Mindanao. They make a variety of calls from a loud piercing note to bird-like trills. The little Philippine tarsier plush shown above comes from Hansa plush.




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