Weird Wildlife Wednesday: the Tarsier

This was meant to be posted last week and for some reason never went through so I guess it will have to work for this week. Sorry about that!

The Tarsier, a small primate, are so stinkin’ adorable with their fluffy faces, huge round eyes, and large ears. It’s a shame that they are endangered.

Tarsiers are found on the densely forested islands of Malaysia, Indonesia, and southern Philippines. The social aspects of their behavior are not very well known, although studies have found that some Tarsier species aren’t solitary like once believed. The Tarsiers are named for their long tarsal bone which enables them to leap far distances. They spend most of their time in the trees, resting and checking out their environment for food. The life span of Tarsiers can range anywhere fro 12 – 20 years depending on the species. As small carnivores, they eat little reptiles, insects, and birds.

Like most other species, habitat loss is a main threat for these guys. Unfortunately, captive breeding programs are relatively unsuccessful.

Source: http://a-z-animals.com/animals/tarsier/

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Weird Wildlife Wednesday: the Gharial

The Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus), a member or the Crocodilians, is definitely weird compared to some of its more commonly known relatives. If the elongated snout weren’t funny looking enough, the males possess a rounded growth on the tip of their snout.

They are found in rivers of areas mostly in and around India. When they are fully grown, they eat primarily fish, but the young also feed on other invertebrates. They are long lived animals and can grow as long or longer than 13 feet. Fun fact about their reproduction: their eggs are the largest of any crocodilian species.

Unfortunately, these guys are listed as critically endangered and nearly went completely extinct back in the 1970’s. Now they are making some slow recovery. As with a lot of reptiles in that region of the world, they are hunted for suposed medicinal purposes. They are also a vistim of habitat loss. Captive breeding and release is a challenge when decent release sights are in short supply.

Source: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/reptilesamphibians/facts/factsheets/gharial.cfm