A Philippine tarsier (T. syrichta)
The show's host referred to Philippines tarsiers (Tarsius syrichta) as marsupials. T. syrichta (and all tarsiers for that matter) do not have marsupium, the hallmark of marsupials. Tarsiers are primates, grouped in the suborder of Haplorrhini. Tarsier offspring are born precocial, while marsupial offspring (joey) are born altricial.
A baby tarsier with its mother. Tarsier offspring are born precocial.
Precocial offspring are relatively mature and mobile after birth. There is a distinct slowing down in brain growth relative to body growth at around time of birth. Altricial offspring on the other hand are born helpless. Their brain growth declines during the developmental stage instead of around the time of birth. Human babies are unique within primates because they are born "secondarily altricial" (Martin, 2007). While human offspring are born helpless, their brain growth relative to body growth continues for about a year before slowing down. Calling tarsiers marsupials is just rude (don't we all want to be primates?).
The claim that Philippines tarsiers is the smallest primate is also false. Dammhahn & Kappeler, 2005).
A Berthe's mouse lemur (M. berthae).
BBC’s Faulty Tarsier Video on Time Travelling for his take on this video.
Dammhahn, M. Kappeler, PM. 2005. Social System of Microcebus berthae , the World’s Smallest Primate. International Journal of Primatology 407-435. Retrieved May 08, 2010 http://www.springerlink.com/content/u6u4372474318166/
Gron, K. 2008. Primate Factsheets: Tarsier (Tarsius). Primate Info Net Retrieved May 08, 2010 http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/tarsier
Gron, K. 2009. Primate Factsheets: Mouse lemur (Microcebus). Primate Info Net Retrieved May 08, 2010 http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/mouse_lemur
Martin, RD. 2007. The evolution of human reproduction: a primatological perspective. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 45:59-84. Retrieved May 08, 2010 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=PureSearch&db=pubmed&term=18046752[UID]