The animal on the cover of Learning the vi and Vim Editors, Seventh Edition, is a tarsier,
a nocturnal mammal related to the lemur. Its generic name, Tarsius, is derived from
the animal’s very long ankle bone, the tarsus. The tarsier is a native of the East Indies
jungles from Sumatra to the Philippines and Sulawesi, where it lives in the trees, leaping
from branch to branch with extreme agility and speed.
A small animal, the tarsier’s body is only 6 inches long, followed by a 10-inch tufted
tail. It is covered in soft, brown or gray silky fur, and has a round face and huge eyes.
Its arms and legs are long and slender, as are its digits, which are tipped with rounded,
fleshy pads to improve its grip on trees. Tarsiers are active only at night, hiding during
the day in tangles of vines or in the tops of tall trees. They subsist mainly on insects
and, though very curious animals, tend to be loners.