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Tarsier


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The Tarsier is an unusual mammal that lives in southeast Asia, in rainforests and bamboo forests in the Philippines and Indonesia. The tarsier is arboreal, spending its entire life in trees. It travels by leaping from tree to tree. It even sleeps and gives birth clinging to a tree trunk. Tarsiers cannot walk on land; they hop when they are on the ground.

Tarsiers are primates, mammals closely related to lemurs, monkeys, apes, and people.

Anatomy: Tarsiers have enormous eyes, a long tail, and pads at the ends of each of their fingers and toes. These pads let them climb trees very well. Their large eyes are excellent at seeing at night, but do not work well in daylight. The tarsier's neck is extremely flexible and can turn almost 360°. It can also move its ears to help locate prey.

Tarsiers range from 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 cm) long but their long tail adds another 5 to 11 inches (13 to 28 cm) of length. They are about the size of a squirrel. These territorial animals mark their trees with urine.

Diet: Tarsiers are carnivores (meat-eaters); they eat mostly insects, lizards, worms, and other very small animals. They are nocturnal, most active at night.

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