Decoding of Tarsier Genome Reveals Ties to Humans

tarsierSmall enough to fit into the palm of your hand, with enormous eyes and an appetite for meat, tarsiers are an anomaly of nature. They are also our distant cousins, according to scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who recently sequenced and analyzed the tarsier genome. The findings, published Oct. 6 in Nature Communications, place tarsiers on an important branch of the primate evolutionary tree – along the same branch that leads to monkeys, great apes and humans.

“We sequenced the tarsier not only to determine where they fit in primate evolution, but because their physiology, anatomy and feeding behavior are very unique,” said Wesley Warren, PhD, an associate professor of genetics and the study’s senior author.

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