Protect Tarsiers

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Leaders: TheFriedEgg and llunaversa
Join Policy: Open
Created on: 6 Feb 2011
Description:
Tarsiers are among the 25 most endangered primates in the world.

People think they're cute and want to keep them as a pet. But living in a cage, they may die of psychological trauma, they can live up to 24 years old, but in captivity only about 12 years. The stress of captive life, the adjustment from wild to captive or life, or life in small cages without others of their own kind, is simply too much to bear. Sometimes they commit suicide by hitting their head against their cage walls or anything available.

The Siau Island Tarsier is a newly discovered species. As recently as 2007, it is critically endangered, and faces extinction. This is because of their incredible small range, and even smaller areas that they are living in on this tiny Island. They have lost almost all of their range to the overwhelming human population. The human population is huge in comparison, and they eat these small relatives of the lemurs for snacks. This is not an unusual practice but an everyday one, they hunt them and will eat many, 12-15 at a single sitting. They also hunt and trap them for the pet trade. Selling them for the pet market, where many will die a lonely and terrible death. Also, their environment is volcanic and highly active. The Mount Karengetang is massive and covers 50% of the Tarsier's range. To top it off, there are no protected areas for this species in this small range. So, their range is almost over run by humans, more than half of what they have left is an active volcano, and they have no protected lands. Plus most of the captive breeding programs have been meet with failure, including many by leading zoos and other primate research centers. The Tarsier dose not take to captivity even in large enclosures well.

Philippine tarsiers have gray fur and a nearly naked tail. The middle finger is elongated. Head and body length are around 118-149 mm (4.6-5.5 in); It weighs 113-142 grams (4-5 ounces)

Eyes

The tarsier depends greatly upon vision than a good sense of smell. The eyes are enormous. In volume, the capacity of the bony eye orbits (sockets) exceeds that of its brain case, and larger than its stomach. Their eye sockets have post-orbital closure rather than the postorbital bar of the prosimians. This feature keeps the eyeballs from being pressed against by the powerful temporal muscles to their sides .

Tail

The tarsier also has a very long tail ( 232 mm [9.1 in.] ), generally naked except for hair tufting at its end. The underside has dermal ridges like those found on human hands and feet. Its tail is used for balancing like a tripod, and they prefer an erect posture at all times.

Head

Like an owl, the tarsier has a joint between its skull base and spine to allow head movement of a 180-degree arc . Its upper lip lacks a cleft yet it has musculature enabling it to make faces. Adult Brain Weight: 4 g [0.2 oz]. Males are larger than females.

Teeth

Tarsiers have sharp teeth, enabling them to catch their prey easier. Unique among primates, tarsiers have only 2, rather than 4,incisors in their lower jaw. Their dental formula is 2.1.3.3 1.1.3.3 x 2 = 34.

Ankle bones

The name "tarsier/tarsius" is derived from the animal's very long ankle bones. The tibia and fibula of the tarsiers are fused in their lower portions, acting as a shock absorber. Considered a primitive trait normally seen in quadruped. Lower limbs are twice the length of its trunk. These enable them to leap 3 meters (almost 10 feet) from tree to tree. Its movements are similar to that of a frog.

Similarities to other Primates

Tarsiers share some characteristics of both the prosimians and the anthropoids, while maintaining characteristics unique to themselves. Taxonomists have classified them as intermediate between both groups and have assigned them to their own infraorder, which has just one living genus - Tarsius. Their relatives in the fossil record are found going back to the Eocene epoch, from 54 to 36 million years ago.

Like many prosimians, they are nocturnal and have grooming claws and bicornuate uterus.

Like anthropoids, they do not have a tapetum (a reflective layer in their eyes).

In tarsiers, the internal structures of the nose and ears and the blood supply to the brain and to a developing fetus are more like those of monkeys than of lorises. The monthly sexual swellings of female tarsiers are also similar to those in anthropoids.

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  • TheFriedEgg

    That is not a cat Sam, you are insane and joking. Nothing wrong as well, just beautiful.

    17 Oct 2:55am Reply
  • Ttssattsr2

    What's wrong with that cat?

    28 Mar 2011 Reply
  • llunaversa

    Amazing animals. Strongly support.

    18 Feb 2011 Reply
  • Leisjanna

    That's a well written report. I support you in your desire to protect the tarsiers.

    7 Feb 2011 Reply
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