Dec 28, 2007

Tarsus to Tarsier

I've had a hard time finding an ugly photo of the tarsier. Most of them are cute, what with their petiteness and binocular vision. So I had to go with freaky.

Anyone care to guess whey they're called tarsiers? It's because of their elongated tarsus bones (the bones in your foot that join to your toe bones). I'm not sure why their hand bones became the basis for their name. I would think those eyes would take precedence. I'm just glad that I've been named 'wise man' by those who dish out Latin names.

Photo source: LinkInn


Arachnophile said...

They usually are pretty cute but the big eyes aren't enough for this picture.

Hmm.... I can't seem to muster the same kind of fear for these "primative" primates as I do for their ape-cousins (loosely speaking). I wonder if anyone's ever been attacked by a lemur they've dressed in kids-clothes.

Anonymous said...

Quick correction: the tarsus bones are those which form the ankle, not the wrist (carpus).

Elongated tarsal bones, particularly the calcaneus, are the basis of a lever system adapted for strong push-off during jumping. Tarsiers have long hindlimbs which can propel them up to 20 feet between trees.

Raging Wombat said...

Thanks for the correction.