Tarsiers are easily distinguished by their size, large orbits, and elongated tarsal bones. The head of tarsiers is round with a reduced muzzle and short neck. T. pumilus but similar in size to T. tarsius. The coat color of Dian's tarsiers is grayish-buff and the tail is naked except for some hair at the end. can be identified by the presence of short, white hairs flanking the upper lip and in the middle of the lower lip. It can be distinguished from T. tarsier by the lack of brown pelage at the hip, thigh, or knee and darker pigmentation on the tail, fingers, toes, and nails. also has a more conspicuous black line of fur surrounding the eyes than does T. tarsier. The ears of are shorter and wider than those of T. tarsier and there is a hairless patch at the base of each ear. The fur of subadults is slightly more gray and woolly than those of T. tarsier. The digits are padded to allow gripping with grasping hands and feet. The finger nails of are curved, pointed, and dark. Females have two pairs of mammary glands. (Flannery, 2007; Niemitz, et al., 1991; Nowak, 1999; Schwartz, 2003)is larger than
Because this species is nocturnal and lacks a tapetum lucidum, its eyes are enlarged to a diameter of approximately 16 mm. The eyes appear asymmetrical and not fully opened compared to those of T. tarsier. is able to rotate its head 180 degrees. The nasal region is covered with short hair except for an area of naked skin around the nostrils. has well-developed, laterally folded nostrils. It also has large ears, but they are short compared to those of T. tarsier. (Flannery, 2007; Niemitz, et al., 1991; Nowak, 1999; Schwartz, 2003)
Tarsiers are small and nocturnal. They do not exhibit torpor, a state of dormancy during food shortages. (Jablonski, 2003)
Although tarsiers were believed to be monogamous, studies have shown that Sulawesi tarsiers actually exhibit facultative polygyny and form strong pair bonds. Males are more territorial than females and have a greater home range. The mating system of (Merker, 2006)remains to be studied.
The mating behavior of (Van Horn and Eaton, 1979)has not been studied. Before the onset of female ovulation, both male and female tarsiers groom themselves and mark their environment more frequently with urine and feces. Males have been observed to chase after estrous females while chirping like a bird, and they examine female genitals by sniffing. Vocalizations by both sexes also increase in frequency, and include a "piercing-twittering 'chit-chit'".
Pregnancy is often very costly for female tarsiers. Pregnant females have low mobility, impaired foraging abilities, and maintain smaller home ranges than their non-pregnant counterparts. Furthermore, postpartum females cannot lactate and transport infants at the same time due to energy restrictions. They often "park" their offspring on a secure branch. Pregnant females were observed in a year-round study, and there appears to be no seasonal variation in mating. (Jablonski, 2003; Merker, et al., 2005; Nowak, 1999)
Pairs of female and male tarsiers stay together to form close bonds for at least 15 months. Tarsier infants can cling to a vertical surface. Female progeny stay with their parents until adulthood, whereas young males leave during youth. Tarsier mothers and young have been reported to exhibit reciprocal sniffing after birth as a way of recognition. (Doyle, 1979; Nowak, 1999; Schilling, 1979)
This species has been described to live in groups of less than 8 individuals composed of 1 adult male and 1 to 3 adult females and their offspring. They spend the day sleeping in a group-specific sleeping site, and at night they hunt and eat. Tremble observed that (Dagosto, et al., 2003; Flannery, 2007; Gursky, 2007; Merker, 2006; Merker, et al., 2005)sleeps in groups in locations with dense foliage, vine tangles, fallen logs, and tree cavities (Gursky, 2007). Although they prefer to sleep in strangling figs, Dian's tarsiers can sleep in a variety of other sites. Sleeping sites were found at the periphery of home ranges, which implies territorial behavior in to refresh their scent marks. At night, the breakdown of activities of is as follows: 44% foraging, 28% traveling, 21% resting, and 7% resting. Dian's tarsiers were observed to rest and move about randomly for most of the night after 4 hours of leaping. Before sunrise, adult and subadult tarsiers perform duets to strengthen group bonding and advertise their territories. Subsequently, triggered by the territorial duet songs, the tarsiers move across great distances as fast as 100 m in 15 minutes to arrive at their sleeping sites.
Dian's tarsiers are arboreal and classified as vertical clingers and leapers. Other modes of locomotion include hopping, quadrupedalism, and cantering. Unlike T. tarsier, this species spends more time quadrupedally walking on horizontal supports (Schwartz, 2003). (Dagosto, et al., 2003; Flannery, 2007; Gursky, 2007; Schwartz, 2003)
This species identifies uses urine for scent marking. (Flannery, 2007)
The home range of this species, studied from radio-tracking, was described as smaller than that of T. tarsier. The territory for one male was measured to be 0.8 ha, and 0.5 ha for three additional individuals. However, further studies need to verify the accuracy of these measurements because Gursky noted the effect of heavy radio collars on the behavior of tarsiers. Additional studies by Merker in 2006 showed that the home ranges were 1.6 to 1.8 ha. Female home ranges were as large as 1.08 to 1.8 ha, which is smaller than the 2.3 to 3.1 ha reported for Tarsius tarsier. Home ranges were smaller in slightly disturbed forests in which food and other resources, such as trees for locomotion and sleeping, were scarce. No seasonal fluctuation in range size was observed when insect population density varied. (Gursky, 1998; Merker, 2006)
Males and females communicate with a special call known as the "male-female duet" in which females and males emit differently pitched sounds for 45 seconds at a sleeping site before dawn. There is regional variation in duet calls. The female begins calling by lowering the frequency pitch 16 to 9 kHz, continues her call at 7 or 8 to 1 kHz, and concludes by bringing the pitch back up to 9 to 16 kHz with a range of 1 to 9 kHz. Similarly, the male's pitch falls from 10 kHz to 5 kHz at the beginning and steadily rises to 14 kHz until the end. It is thought that the duets serve to prevent conflict by warning potential intruders of the claimed territory and of already paired individuals.
Tarsiers are primarily insectivores that hunt by visual predation and feed on crickets (Gryllidae), grasshoppers (Orthoptera), and moths (Lepidoptera). They also eat small lizards and crustaceans, such as shrimps, in captivity. Tarsiers capture prey by carefully watching prey movements and leaping forward suddenly to capture prey in both hands. The food is chewed with a side-to-side motion of the jaw while the tarsier sits on its hind limbs grasping a tree branch. Tarsiers also ingest water by lapping, or take in liquid using the tongue. However, the specific eating habits of remain to be studied. (Merker, et al., 2005; Nowak, 1999)
Predators of tarsiers are not well studied, but Gursky (2007) suggests that they include birds of prey (Falconiformes), civets (Viverra), and snakes (Serpentes). In the Merker etal. (2005) field study of no predation was observed. (Gursky, 2007; Merker, et al., 2005)
Tarsiers capture and eat live animal prey at night. Hence, their role in the ecosystem has been compared to that of an owl. Tarsiers prefer to prey on insects active at night that experience less dramatic seasonal fluctuations in population. Tarsier predation minimizes competition because other insectivores such as bats and birds cannot easily maneuver through the dense understory of the forest at night. Entamoeba and two Digenea trematode species, none of which are present in T. tarsier. (Jablonski, 2003; Niemitz, et al., 1991)also serves as a host for many common parasites. Through fecal analysis, Niemitz et al. (1991) found intestinal parasites including
Spectral tarsiers have been a popular tourist attraction in Tangkoko, northern Sulawewsi (Fitch-Snyder, 2003). In the future, whenis better studied and more popular, Morowali Nature Reserve and Lore Lindu National Park might serve as sites for economic tourism.
Tarsiers are an ancient line of primates existing for at least forty million years. They occupy a unique primate niche and have many morphological and behavioral specializations. haplorhine primates. (Fitch-Snyder, 2003; Wright, 2003)is invaluable to the scientific and education communities for understanding the origin and evolution of
There are no known adverse effects of (Jablonski, 2003)on humans.
Tanya Dewey (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Liubin Yang (author), Yale University, Eric Sargis (editor, instructor), Yale University.
uses sound to communicate
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
to jointly display, usually with sounds in a highly coordinated fashion, at the same time as one other individual of the same species, often a mate
humans benefit economically by promoting tourism that focuses on the appreciation of natural areas or animals. Ecotourism implies that there are existing programs that profit from the appreciation of natural areas or animals.
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.
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.
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
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
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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Merker, S., I. Yustian, M. Mühlenberg. 2005. Responding to forest degradation: altered habitat use by Dian's tarsier Tarsius dianae in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Oryx, 39/02: 189-195. Accessed May 09, 2007 at http://www.journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=301004.
Niemitz, C., A. Nietsch, S. Warter, Y. Rumpler. 1991. Folia Primatologica, 56: 105-116.: A New Primate Species from Central Sulawesi (Indonesia).
Nietsch, A., M. Kopp. 1998. Role of Vocalization in Species Differentiation of Sulawesi Tarsiers. Folia Primatologica, 69: 371-378.
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