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8 species on life support

By: Bryan Nelson on Feb. 6, 2013, 11:07 a.m.
pygmy tarsier

Photo: Perrenque/Flickr

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Pygmy tarsier

These miniature primates, which might be confused with mogwai, were believed to have gone extinct in the early 20th century until Indonesian scientists accidentally killed one while trapping rats. This find prompted an eight-year research expedition to rediscover the species, an effort that finally bore fruit in 2008. Researchers from Texas A&M University successfully trapped three pygmy tarsiers, two males and a female, and attached them with tracking collars. A fourth specimen was also spotted, but it got away.

Although no other specimens have been found since, scientists hope the species survives in some capacity, given that both males and the female were of breeding age.