Big things come in small packages, just like the pygmy marmoset.
- Pygmy marmosets are a species of small primate, endemic to the Amazon rainforest of northern South America.
- The scientific name of pygmy marmosets is Cebuella pygmaea, or the synonymous Callithrix pygmaea, and it is from the family Callitrichidae, a family of New World monkeys.
- At a height of roughly 12 to 16 centimetres (4.7 to 6.3 inches), and a weight of 85 to 140 grams (3 to 4.9 ounces), pygmy marmosets are among the smallest primates, and are the smallest living monkeys.
- A pygmy marmoset has fur patterned with a variety of colours, including browns, greys, whites, blacks and golds, and the tail is striped with dark coloured rings.
- The diet of pygmy marmosets consists primarily of tree sap or other resins, although they may also eat insects, fruit, spiders, nectar, flowers and lizards.
Image courtesy of Karra Rothery/Flickr
- Pygmy marmosets have long tails of approximately 20 centimetres (7.9 inches) in length; and they live in trees and are excellent climbers, however they will rarely climb higher than 18 metres (59 feet) from the base of a tree.
- To collect sap from trees, pygmy marmosets gnaw small holes into the tree trunks, and they may create as many as 1300 holes in a single tree.
- Pygmy marmosets have high pitched calls comparable to that of bird calls, with some sounds being of a pitch too high for human ears to hear.
- While pygmy marmosets are listed as ‘least concern’, they are sometimes kept as exotic pets, however, the monkeys often perish from depression, or show considerable spite towards their owner.
- Pygmy marmosets generally have a lifespan of 8 to 12 years in the wild, and they live in family groups of two to nine individuals, and these groups are well-bonded.