In this paper, I present the first observations on the ontogeny of tarsier infants during their first and second months and of the mother-offspring bond from birth until separation. Tarsier mother-infant pairs were observed to be solitary. Maternal care involved a cache and carry strategy with the infant spending around 66% parked alone whilst the mother was foraging. I observed the following behaviour: rest, grooming, suckling, play, being carried, jumping and climbing. Percentage of time spent in each activity was calculated. Furthermore, play was observed to include locomotor-, social- and object-directed behaviours. Acoustic communication between mother and infant was very frequent containing four different signals. During the first days after birth, the mother transported the infants about, but within a week, the infants started climbing branches on their own. For the first three weeks, the mothers carried infants orally after which they started to follow the mother over shorter distances, although for longer distances, up to 50 days of age, the mothers continued to carry them. The inter-birth interval was around 1 year, but the infants from the previous birth continued to sleep with the mother for up to 10 months.
Part of the book: Primates