Snapshot: Philippine Tarsier

There’s nothing like quirky endemic fauna. Here is a picture I took in Bohol of Philippine Tarsiers (Tarsius syrichta). If you love phylogeny (and who doesn’t?), tarsiers have been found to be more closely related to monkeys and great apes (clade Haplorhini) than lemurs and lorises (clade Strepsirrhini).

Biogeographically, it’s neat that they are only found in Indonesia and the Philippine archipelago. In the Philippines, there are only Macaques, Tarsiers and People present from the primate family. Lorises and Gibbons, found throughout Southeast Asia, are absent. Like the Philippine Flying Lemur, Tarsiers are only found on Greater Mindanao. Back in during the lower sea levels of the last ice age, Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao all form a much larger landmass, much like Maui Nui. Here, the little Tarsiers prospered.

Tarsiers have been exploited by people in the past. I’m fairly certain many of the Philippine Tarsier photos people find on the web like mine are from the Loboc & Loay  captive populations. Those have since been closed. Let’s hope we can find a way to live better with our neat little cousins.

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One Response to Snapshot: Philippine Tarsier

  1. Pingback: The World’s Smallest Primate | The Rushin Safari

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