Extinct Pygmy tarsier rediscovered in Indonesia
A team led by a Texas A&M University anthropologist has discovered a group of primates not seen alive in 85 years. The pygmy tarsiers, furry gremlin like creatures about the size of a small mouse and weighing less than 2 ounces, have not been observed since they were collected for a museum in 1921. Several scientists believed they were extinct until two Indonesian scientists trapping rats in the highlands of Sulawesi accidentally trapped and killed a pygmy tarsier in 2000.
Pygmy tarsier claws. The only primates not to have fingernails. Photo credit Texas A&M University.
The moist mountainous terrain at heights of 7,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level proved tricky to navigate, and the nocturnal nature of the animals added another element of danger.
“There are still primates waiting to be discovered in Indonesia. Not all have been seen, heard and described.” Said
Gursky-Doyen’s research was funded by National Geographic Society, Conservation International Primate Action Fund, Primate Conservation Incorporated and Texas A&M University.