| Share


tarsier (tärˈsēər) [key], small, nocturnal, forest-dwelling prosimian primate, genus Tarsius. There are at least three species found in the Philippines, in Sumatra and Borneo, and in Sulawesi. Tarsiers are about 6 in. (15 cm) long with a 10 in. (25 cm) hairless tail, and weigh about 4.5 oz (130 g). The body is covered with dense brown fur. Enormous round eyes are set close together in a flat face. Tarsiers' legs are specialized for climbing and jumping and end in long, thin digits bearing adhesive pads. They feed on insects and reptiles. They are believed to mate for life and to form family groups. Tarsiers are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Primates, family Tarsiidae.

See M. Kavanagh, Monkeys, Apes and Other Primates (1983); J. R. Napier and P. H. Napier, The Natural History of the Primates (1985).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on tarsier from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Vertebrate Zoology

Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring