The tarsiers have been a particularly difficult group to place. Originally, they were grouped together with the strepsirrhines to form the prosimians, from the Greek meaning “before ape”. This group – essentially all primates except monkeys and apes – has less relevance today, because we know that the tarsiers are actually haplorrhines. Perelman’s study confirms that.
These big-eyed, knobbly-fingered animals are found only in the Philippines and three Indonesia islands. But around 50 million years ago, there were tarsiers all over the Northern Hemisphere. Today’s species are but a shadow of a once diverse group, one that branched off early from other primates and has evolved alongside us ever since.
Image by Jasper Greek Golangco