A group of puny primates called tarsiers living in the Philippines have long baffled scientists. The reason: The animals sometimes open their mouths as if to make a noise, but no sound comes out. Now researchers have learned that the species, Tarsius syrichta, actually produces ultrasonic screeches that are well above the range of human hearing.
Marissa Ramsier, a primatologist at Humboldt University in California, studied the animals' high-pitched calls. She suspects the behavior may help them avoid predators.
"It may be a way to communicate with each other without alerting the things that want to eat them," she says.
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|Title Annotation:||BIOLOGY: ADAPTATIONS; tarsiers|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Aug 21, 2012|
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