Filipino Tarsiers

Tarsiers are prosimian primates, sharing their primitive grouping with lemurs, bushbabies and the aye-aye. However, due to numerous similarities to ancestral monkeys, apes and humans, there is some disagreement as to whether tarsiers should be grouped with the other prosimians in the Suborder Strepsirrhini or with the monkeys and friends in the Suborder Haplorrhini. The tarsier finds all of this debate quite dull and prefers to spend its time eating insects and bird eggs.

These pictures were taken by our friend’s father in the jungles of the central Philippines.

They look pissed.

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Special thanks to Will O’Boyle Sr. for traveling to find these little guys and Jr. for forwarding along the pics.

Lunch time for Golem

Incidentally, I almost bought a tarsier t-shirt at a craft fair this weekend. Here are some other good ones.


  1. #1 milkshake
    July 1, 2008

    George Lucas is probably kicking himself now, that he forgot to include tarsiers in Star Wars

  2. #2 Zach Miller
    July 1, 2008

    They look like bat-monkeys, what with those long fingers and bulbous head. I’ve always like tarsiers, and have wondered what their disposition is. I didn’t realize they were so tiny.

  3. #3 g bruno
    July 7, 2008

    Possibly not ‘in the jungle’ , maybe near the riverbank where a few captive “hold a tarsier” enterprises have set up. I dont think they are a serious threat to wild populations, they may even be breeding them. Critters sure can leap.

  4. #4 yol kesici bariyer
    March 7, 2009


  5. #5 marie
    January 11, 2010

    Just like to bring about a little bit of awareness regarding the tarsier kept at these tourist site in Loboc, most of the tarsier that end up at these tourist sites have been poached from the wild and they live only a very short time at these places, sometimes as little as two weeks because of the stress they are under by been on show. I live in the area and know that the poaching of tarsier has a big effect on the wild population. It is a big problem that we face for the long term survival of the tarsier if we can’t stop the poaching of the tarsier for these tourist spots in Loboc. Very little is known about the tarsier and they don’t breed well in captivity. The tarsier only breed once a year and can only gives birth to one baby. With all the tarsier been taken from the wild, it is very hard to recover the number that die in these tourist places. If something is not done soon, my guess it that in less that 8years we will not be able to see tarsier anymore in Bohol. At this time, tarsier are only found in about four very small pockets of forest in Bohol. Awareness needs to come about to save what we have left of the tarsier in the wild in Bohol.

  6. #6 jon
    November 18, 2010

    I have to agree. Basic common sense should tell us that these little guys are built for night activity. Just check out their eyes. They should be sleeping now. It must be incredibly painful for them to keep their eyes open during the day like this. I cannot imagine how much this must hurt them to be so active in the daytime.This is not responsible behavior on the part of the ‘zoo keepers’. Clearly they are not in the least concerned about the tarsiers except as a display animal for human tourists. This is about making money.
    If we treated humans like this it would be called torture. its no wonder they die after a few weeks.

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