Creepy Carnivores

Tarsier Eyes.

Tarsier (Photo credit, Ricky Garni)

Tarsier (Photo credit, Ricky Garni)

For the next couple weeks I am going to write about a very interesting subject, eyes.  First on the list we’ll head to the islands of Southeast Asia to take a look at the world’s only carnivorous primate.  The Tarsier.  The tarsier is a small animal with enormous eyes.  Each eyeball is as large as this creature’s entire brain.  The unique cranial anatomy of the tarsier results from the need to balance their large eyes and heavy head so they are able to wait silently for unsuspecting prey.  As you may have guessed, the tarsier has very acute eyesight, excellent night vision, and may also be able to see ultraviolet light!  The tarsier’s eyes are the largest of any mammal relative to body size. In fact, if a human’s eyes were proportionally as large as those of the tarsier, they would be the size of grapefruits. Its eyes are fixed to its skull and don’t turn in their sockets.  Fortunately, it has a very bendable neck and can rotate its head 180 degrees, just like an owl.  Not that that makes it any less creepy looking, but on the other hand it sort of looks like my dad so…  I guess it’s ok.

To watch my video, click here.