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Tarsiers



Tarsiers
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.51

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    nonetheless, characteristic, hearing, best, lorises, prosimians, rapacious, suborder, tarsier, tarsiers, hairless, arboreal, spectral, top-ranked, classify, pygmy
     content words:    Southeast Asia


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Tarsiers   

1     Don't let the size of a tarsier (pronounced "TAR-see-ur") fool you! Though petite, tarsiers are among the best hunters in the animal kingdom! With a body length of less than 6 inches and a weight of about 4 ounces, tarsiers look harmless and vulnerable. Yet, when they are out to look for food at night, they make good use of their physical advantages and reveal their true rapacious nature.
 
2     Tarsiers have enormous, glowing eyes that look and act like searchlights. As tarsiers cling vertically to trees, they are on high alert at all times. Using their excellent eyesight and hearing, tarsiers never miss a movement -- however slight it is -- made by other animals. Nevertheless, good vision and sensitive ears alone are not convincing enough to separate tarsiers from other capable predators. Amazingly, it is tarsiers' necks that make them top-ranked hunters. Tarsiers have very flexible necks, allowing them to turn their heads more than 180 degrees. Hence, they can easily spot an animal no matter where it hides. Once tarsiers locate prey, they creep as close to it as possible before making a sudden jump and grabbing the doomed animal with both of their hands. Tarsiers are very good at jumping. They can leap as high as 5 feet and as far as 20 feet!
 
3     Tarsiers are well adapted to living in trees. To be sure that they keep a firm grasp on tree branches or trunks, tarsiers use the ridged swellings at the tips of their slender fingers and toes as suction cups. Though tarsiers are arboreal animals, they occasionally come down from trees. When on the ground, they hop like kangaroos or walk on all four limbs like rodents. Tarsiers wear soft, silky fur coats in dull gray or brown. Their long tails are hairless, except for the tufts at the end. Tarsiers mainly feed on insects, lizards, worms, or other small animals. Yet, if the opportunity presents itself, tarsiers will not hesitate to take on animals much larger than themselves (such as snakes and birds) to satisfy their voracious appetites.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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