No, this isn’t Dobby the house elf, but one of the world’s most unique primates.
Never feed a tarsier after midnight.Hang on…that’s a gremlin.But it’s an easy mistake to make. With their oversized eyes, protrudingears and furry bodies, they’re dead ringersfor the 1980s mischief makers.
With bodies rarely above 15cmlong,tarsiers are one of the world’s smallest primates,found inthe forests of Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and the Philippines. These largely solitary animals are the world’s only entirely carnivorous primate; consuming a diet of insects, reptiles and birds, which they hunt at night.
Their enormous eyes, which aredensely lined with photoreceptive cells called rods, are specialised for seeing in dim light. If humans had similarly proportioned peepers, they’d be the size of grapefruits.
Tarsier eyes are so big that they can’t rotate in their sockets, so the animal hasdeveloped the ability to swivel its head almost 180°in either directionto look around– thinkBaby Yoda meetsThe Exorcist.
Their large ears can detect the high frequencies emitted by their prey and the structures also swivel, givingthe tarsier excellent directional hearing. Their fingers are tipped with swollen pads, which helps them grip trees, and their long, springy legsallowthemtoleap distancesofup to five metres.
If humans had similarly proportioned legs, we’d be able to leap over five double decker buses, but please don’t try this at home.