Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jeffrey H. Schwartz
Tarsiers are small arboreal primates (genus Tarsius ) that inhabit the forests of various islands of the Philippines, where they are active primarily during dawn and dusk. Their common and genus names reflect the fact that this small primate's tarsal (ankle) bones are extremely long, making its “heel” a major component of hind limb elongation. Functionally, tarsal elongation acts as a lever in the tarsier's leaping mode of locomotion. There are at least five recognizable species of Tarsius: T. syrichta, T. bancanus, T. spectrum, T. pumilus , and T. dianae . Solitariness among males and females is the most consistently documented social behavior. Tarsius is unique in many ways compared to other extant primates. It is the Tarsiers ...