Left: Philippine tarsier - Tarsius philippensis [now Carlito syrichta]
Right: Tarsius fuscus and the Sangihe tarsier (Tarsius sangirensis)
Tarsiers are nocturnal prosimian (“before simians”) primates, and are the only completely carnivorous primate extant. They eat exclusively insects, small reptiles, and small birds, and unlike other primates, don’t eat any fruits or leaves.
Their eyes are as large as their brains, and unlike other prosimians, they do not have a tapetum lucidum (the light-reflecting membrane found in many nocturnal mammals, such as cats). The huge size of the eyeballs and the large section of the brain devoted to eyesight makes up for the lack of tapetum. They also have extraordinary hearing, and combine the two senses to great advantage against insects and animals trying to hide. in the dense rainforests of southeast Asia.
Learn More True Facts about the Tarsier.
Saugethiere vom Celebes- und Philippinen-Archipel vol I. A. B. Meyer, 1896.