The Philippine Tarsier

The Philippine tarsier (Carlito syrichta or Tarsius syrichta), known locally as mawmag in Cebuano and mamag in Luzon, is a species of tarsier that is endemic to the Philippines. It is found in the southeastern part of the archipelago, particularly on the island of Bohol, Leyte, Samar and some parts of Mindanao. The name tarsier is is derived from its elongated “tarsus/tarsal” or ankle bone.

tarsier tarsier2

These cuddly-looking creatures have soft, grayish-fur; they are about 100 mm in height; with rat-like tail that is longer than the body and bat-like ears. These primates thrive mostly in secondary dense forests and would usually feed on crickets, beetles, termites, lizards, frogs, small birds and other insects. Furthermore, these nocturnal creatures have the ability of being able to turn their head 180 degrees and could jump backwards with precision. They are listed as one of the Philippines’ threatened species. Interestingly, they commit suicide during captivity due to trauma from touching and loud noise by rotating their neck.


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