Pygmy Tarsier (Tarsius pumilus)

This nocturnal species has large eyes and large ears that are mobile. The pygmy tarsier has a special adaptation in its neck vertebrae to help it turn its head 180 degrees. It needs to do this because its eyes can not move. The dental formula of this species is 2:1:3:3 on the upper jaw and 1:1:3:3 on the lower jaw (Nowak, 1999). This species has relatively small upper canines (Nowak, 1999). The lower incisors of this species are higher than the canines (Musser and Dagosto, 1987). This species lacks a tapetum lucidum found in most nocturnal animals. The pygmy tarsier has two grooming claws on each foot instead of just one. The nails are more laterally compressed as to resemble claws (Musser and Dagosto, 1987). The tail of this species is naked except for a tuft of hair at the end. This species receives its name from the elongated tarsus bone. Females have two pairs of mammae, one inguinal and one pectoral. The pygmy tarsier has a pelage color which is reddish brown on the dorsal side, and the pelage is relatively longer as compared to Tarsius spectrum (Musser and Dagosto, 1987). The longer pelage may be an adaptation for living in the colder and wetter habitats of the montane forests (Musser and Dagosto, 1987). Behind each ear there is a buffy colored spot (Musser and Dagosto, 1987). The head and body length of this species is only 75 percent of other members of the genus Tarsius (Musser and Dagosto, 1987).

The pygmy tarsier is found on the island of Sulawesi (Musser and Dagosto, 1987). This species lives in the mossy, upper montane rainforests of central Sulawesi (Musser and Dagosto, 1987).

This species is a carnivorous species.

This species is a vertical clinger and leaper.







Musser, G.G. and Dagosto, M. 1987. The identity of , a pygmy species endemic to the montane mossy forests of central Sulawesi. American Museum Novitates. Vol. 2867, 1-53.

Nowak, R.M. 1999. Walker's Primates of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore.

Last Updated: October 15, 2003.
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