Philippine Tarsier Characteristics & Facts


The Philippine Tarsier is a creature that is both immensely distinct and fascinating in its own right. These nocturnal creatures are one of the tiniest primates in the world (though they are not as little as the pygmy marmoset), and it is thought that they have been around for around 45 million years as a species. The Philippine Tarsier is a timid, nocturnal mammal that spends much of its life hidden away. They are often only active at night to search for food since they do not come out during the day (mainly insects). They like the shelter of tall, dense grass or bamboo thickets while they sleep during the day, and they will sleep in dark hollows or stumps that are near to the ground.

The eyes of the Philippine Tarsier, like the eyes of other tarsiers, are fixed in the skull, which means that they cannot move around in their sockets. Instead, it is able to spin its head by 180 degrees because to a unique modification in the neck, quite similar to what an owl has. The size of its eyes in proportion to the size of its head and body is such that they are recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest eyes that have ever been found on any animal. These nocturnal creatures have an exceptional ability to see in the dark because of their enormous eyes. The big membranous ears are entirely movable and seem to be moving nearly continuously, which enables the tarsier to hear every movement that occurs.

The Philippine Tarsier is included as a flagship species and is protected under the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act (Republic Act No. 9147), which was signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines. This law provides for the conservation and protection of wildlife resources and their habitats, including the Philippine Tarsier, and designates it as a flagship species.

They are now classified as “Near Threatened,” despite the fact that the Philippine Tarsier is protected. This is because the ecosystem in which they live is still threatened by ever-increasing development and logging (which may be considered threatened with extinction in the near future).

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