The most striking feature of tarsiers is their large eyes, which are larger than those of any other mammal, with respect to body size. fur is grey and/or brown and does not help distinguish it from the other tarsiers species. It has a very long tail, nearly twice as long as its head and body. The tale is scaly in appearance, with the exception of a tuft of hair near the distal end. In general, tarsiers have extraordinarily long hind legs (the longest legs of any mammal in proportion to body length), which contributes to their primary mode of locomotion as vertical clingers and leapers. The forelimbs are rather shorter. All four limbs end in long, thin digits, and the front digits have disc-like pads. (Crompton and Andau, 1986a; Niemitz, 1984)is small. Males are 12 cm in length on average and range in mass from 122 to 134 g. This species is sexually dimorphic, as females are on average 10 grams lighter than males. Its
It was previously assumed that tarsiers, including T.bancanus is most likely polygynous. Females signal their readiness to mate both chemically and visually. When in estrus, females exhibit labial swelling and scent-rubbing near territorial borders shared with males. Once males identify estrous females, the often perform "courtship calls." (Niemitz, 1984; Roberts, 1994; Simons, 1986), had a high incidence of monogamy. However, recent evidence suggests that the mating system is highly dependent on prey availability, and that
After parturition, male western tarsiers are aggressively chased away by the mother until the baby reaches maturity. Captive males have been known to kill their young. Young do not develop locomotor independence for about four weeks; until then, they are "parked" while mothers forage for prey. Unlike many other primates, mother's rarely carry young, which may be due to the large-size of newborns. Other than providing milk and protection from the father, mothers offer limited care to their offspring. (Niemitz, 1984; Roberts, 1994)
Western tarsiers are nocturnal and sometimes crepuscular and are most active in the hours immediately after dusk. The tarsier's gigantic eyes allow it to hunt at night. Differing from other tarsiers, the western tarsier is quite solitary, coming in contact with other members of its species only for mating, establishing territory, or raising young. Western tarsiers often return to the same general area to sleep, if not to the same perch. They tend to hunt within 1 m of the ground, and sleeping perches are usually found on a vertical or near-vertical structure over 4 m high. ("Tarsiidae (Tarsiers)", 2003; Crompton and Andau, 1986a; Crompton and Andau, 1986b; Niemitz, 1984; Roberts and Kohn, 1993)
The home range of western tarsiers ranges from 0.045 km^2 to 0.113 km^2, with an average of 0.085 km^2, and male territories tend to be slightly larger than those of females. Radio-telemetry data of western tarsiers showed that males traveled farther during the night than females. ("Tarsiidae (Tarsiers)", 2003; Crompton and Andau, 1986a; Crompton and Andau, 1986b)
tarsier species, is the least communicative. Where touching and grooming are common in most other species, it has only been documented between mothers with young and mating pairs. Territory is marked with urine, scent from glands in the ano-genital region, and secretions from the epigastric gland. communicates with potential mates via squeaks and whistles, and physical contact prior to copulation is usually initiated by grasping the tail. (Niemitz, 1984)relies mostly on sight for foraging and depends upon sound and smell for intraspecific communication. Of all
Western Tarsiers are exclusively carnivorous, most commonly feeding on insects. They consume almost any kind of insect, as well as some small vertebrates, including birds, mammals and reptiles. The prey upon anything that moves, including animals as large as themselves. They have even been sighted preying upon spotted-winged fruit bats tangled in mist nets. ("Tarsiidae (Tarsiers)", 2003; Hodgkison and Kunz, 2006; Jablonski, 1994; Niemitz, 1984; Roberts and Kohn, 1993; Rosenberger, 2010)
There is little information available on the major predators of western tarsiers. Their brown/grey pelage allows them a certain degree of camouflage and helps decrease risk of predation. More importantly, their arboreal nature keeps them out of reach of most predators, however, snakes and arboreal mammals (e.g., slow lorises) are likely their primary predators. They are likely most vulnerable when they are chewing, as they are unable to hear approaching predators. ("Tarsiidae (Tarsiers)", 2003; Niemitz, 1984)
Western tarsier are primarily insectivorous, and may help control insect pest populations. In addition, they are host to various species of intestinal worm (Moniliformes tarsii and Moniliformes echinosorexi), tapeworms and roundworms. Little else is known of parasites specific to this species. ("Tarsiidae (Tarsiers)", 2003; Deveaux, et al., 1988; Niemitz, 1984; Roberts, 1994)
Althoughmay help control insect pest populations throughout its range, there are no known positive effects of this species on humans
There are no known adverse effects ofon humans.
Paul McKeighan (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, John Berini (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.
uses sound to communicate
living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
active at dawn and dusk
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
parental care is carried out by females
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
animals that live only on an island or set of islands.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
chemicals released into air or water that are detected by and responded to by other animals of the same species
having more than one female as a mate at one time
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
specialized for leaping or bounding locomotion; jumps or hops.
communicates by producing scents from special gland(s) and placing them on a surface whether others can smell or taste them
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
breeding takes place throughout the year
young are relatively well-developed when born
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Deveaux, T., G. Schmidt, M. Krishnasamy. 1988. Two new species of Moniliformis (Acanthocephala: Moniliformidae) from Malaysia. The Journal of Parasitology, 74/2: 322-325.
Hodgkison, R., T. Kunz. 2006. Balionycteris maculata. Mammalian Species, 793: 1-3.
Jablonski, N. 1994. Feeding Behavior, Mastication, and Tooth Wear in the Western Tarsier (Tarsius bancanus).. International Journal of Primatology, 15: 29-60.
Niemitz, C. 1984. Biology of tarsiers. Stuttgart: Gustav Fischer Verlag.
Roberts, M. 1994. Growth, development, and parental care in the western tarsier (Tarsius bancanus) in captivity: Evidence for a "slow" life-history and nonmonogamous mating system. International Journal of Primatology, 15: 1-28.
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Shekelle, M., I. Yustian. 2010. "Tarsius bancanus" (On-line). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Accessed May 25, 2011 at http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/21488/0.
Simons, E. 1986. Reproductive Cycles in Tarsius bancanus. American Journal of Primatology, 11: 207-215.
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