Tarsiers are small, elusive primates that are native to Southeast Asia and the Philippines. The animals of the genus Tarsius are known for their extremely large ears and eyes, their carnivorous diet, and their long tarsal bones (the source of their name). The number of Tarsier species is unclear, but a range of 6-13 have been reported. At most, a tarsier could weigh 150g, while a pygmy tarsier might weigh as little as 57g. They are vertical clingers and leapers; their tails and padded digits aid them in this locomotive style. Their notable eyes are massive, outweighing their brains and lacking a tapetum lucidum, or "eyeshine." This keeps their location hidden, since there is no eye reflection to betray their position to predators. Their strange eyes also lack movement, but their owl-like necks are capable of 180 degrees of rotation to accommodate this. Tarsiers are nocturnal, and many of their physical adaptations support their sleep habits; mostly their incredible hearing. Their vision isn’t perfectly adapted to being nocturnal, since they have a fovea rather than the aforementioned tapetum lucidum. The phylogenetic placement of the genus Tarsius is widely debated, and many researchers have undertaken genetic experiments to identify their position in relation to other primates.
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Legend/credit: Electron micrograph of the Ebola Zaire virus. This was the first photo ever taken of the virus, on 10/13/1976. By Dr. F.A. Murphy, now at U.C. Davis, then at the CDC.
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