Behavior

Although they are social primates, as demonstrated, for example, by their territorial scent marking behavior, tarsiers are not or not very gregarious during their activity phase. Scent marking behavior includes the deposition of urine and secretions from skin glands within their lips, on their chest, and in their anogenital region. Group or duetting vocalizations near or at the sleeping site, known from all Sulawesi forms, may be an expression of pair or group coherence. The Philippine and the western tarsiers are not silent, but territorial group vocalizations or duetting have never been reported.

Tarsiers are nocturnal animals, but at least some of the species also show high crepuscular activity. Vocalizations near sleeping sites in the Sulawesi species and subspecies may mark the temporal transition from non-gregarious nocturnalism and diurnal gregarious primates in each of the species concerned.

Tarsiers are vertical clingers and leapers. They are world champions in backward leaping, catapulting themselves backward from a vertical support, turning around in mid-leap, and landing forward on the next tree sapling. With one leap they may cover the distance of 45 times their body length.

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