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Pygmy Tarsier

The Pygmy Tarsier (Tarsius pumilus), is a nocturnal primate that is found in central Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is also known as the Mountain Tarsier or Lesser Spectral Tarsier. It was thought to be extinct until 2000, when scientists accidentally killed one while trapping rats. The first Pygmy Tarsiers found alive since the 1920s was in August of 2008 by a research team from Texas A&M University. Three were captured (a fourth one escaped) using nets, and were radio collared to track them.

This small primate has a body length of only 4 inches with a 4 inch tail and weighs less than 2 ounces. It is smaller than other tarsier species. Its ears are also small compared to the rest of the body. It has tan or brown with some brownish-red coloring. The tail is heavily haired. Its most conspicuous feature is the large eyes which measure 1.6 centimeters (0.62 in) in diameter. It has claws rather than nails, which are used mainly for grasping and movement ease.

They are commonly found in stable pairs, remaining together for up to 15 months. They are usually monogamous. They breed twice throughout the year, about 6 months apart. Gestation lasts about 178 days and births occur in May and again around December. The young develops quickly and begin capturing their own prey at around 42 days old. They travel in groups only after 23 days. The young females stay with parents until adulthood, while young males leave as juveniles.

Being nocturnal, the Pygmy Tarsier spends most of the daylight hours sleeping on branches in the canopy. Unlike other tarsier species, this species does not use scent glands to mark its territory. However, it does use tactile communication and interaction like other in its genus. Tarsiers are the only primates that are completely carnivorous and the Pygmy Tarsier is mainly insectivorous.

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Pygmy Tarsier


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