Lost thought extinct pigmy tarsier found alive

Tiny, long-lost primate rediscovered in Indonesia believed extinct for eight decades is found!


On a misty mountaintop on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, scientists for the first time in more than eight decades have observed a living pygmy tarsier, one of the planet’s smallest and rarest primates.
Over a two-month period, the scientists used nets to trap three furry, mouse-sized pygmy tarsiers two males and one female on Mt. Rore Katimbo in Lore Lindu National Park in central Sulawesi.

They spotted a fourth one that got away.

The tarsiers, which some scientists believed were extinct, may not have been overly thrilled to be found. One of them chomped Sharon Gursky-Doyen, a Texas A&M University professor of anthropology who took part in the expedition.

“My assistant was trying to hold him still while I was attaching a radio collar around its neck. It’s very hard to hold them because they can turn their heads around 180 degrees. As I’m trying to close the radio collar, he turned his head and nipped my finger. And I yanked it and I was bleeding.”

As their name indicates, pygmy tarsiers are small weighing about 2 ounces (50 grammes). They have large eyes and large ears and look like fairy gremlins.

They feed on insects at night and are unusual among primates in that they have claws rather than finger nails.

They had not been seen alive by scientists since 1921.

Rediscovered in Indonesia by Texas A and M University professor Sharon Gursky-Doyen in August 2008,
she and her group observed the first live pygmy tarsier in August at an elevation of about 6,900 feet.


Tiny, long-lost primate rediscovered in Indonesia – Will Dunham Will Dunham  Reuters  Nov 18, 2008



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