Philippine Tarsier
(Tarsius syrichta) #61-193

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Physical characteristics and distribution

Head and body length is 85-160 mm, tail length is 135-275 mm. Adults weigh between 80-165 grams. The silky, wavy fur is buff or grayish to dark brown above and buff grayish or slate below. The naked tail has a few short hairs at the tip. The most outstanding feature of T. syrichta is its very large eyes, the diameter of the eyeball being about 16 mm. The round head has a short, flattened muzzle and the neck is also short. Tarsiers differ from other lemurs in that the face is furred with short hairs ending at a narrow strip of naked skin around the nostrils. The muzzle is moist with a central prolongation dividing the upper lip. The forelegs of T. syrichta are short while the hind limbs are greatly elongated. The name Tarsier refers to the unusually long tarsal, or ankle. The long digits are tipped with rounded pads that allow T. syrichta to grip almost any surface. The thumb is not truly opposable, but the first toe is. All of the digits have flattened nails, except for the second and third toes, which have sharp claws that are used for grooming.

T. syrichta has bee found in a variety of habitats including primary forests and mangroves, but they seem to prefer secondary forests, scrub, and clearings with thick vegetation. They are nocturnal or crepuscular and mainly arboreal. There is no evidence that T. syrichta builds any sort of nests and sleeps during the day in dense vegetation on a vertical branch, or sometimes in a hollow tree.

T. syrichta, as well as other Tarsiers, can rotate its head nearly 360 degrees. Seemingly effortless leaps of several meters illustrate the Tarsiers' acrobatic abilities moving through trees and shrubs. Their movements are much like a tree frog's, though they can walk on all fours, with the tail hanging down. While awake, the ears are in almost constant motion.

The diet of T. syrichta consists mainly of insects, but captive tarsiers will also consume small lizards and crustaceans readily. Gestation for T. syrichta is 25-28 days. Females seem to breed throughout the year and produce one young weighing between 20-31 grams. The baby usually clings to the mother's abdomen, but is sometimes carried in her mouth. At 42 days the young begins to catch prey on its own, and shortly thereafter is weaned.

T. syrichta is listed as endangered. It is found on the islands Mindanao, Bohol Isl, Samar Isl, Leyte Isl (Philippines).

Description of the brain

Animal source and preparation
All specimens collected followed the same preparation and histological procedure.

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