The Pygmy Marmoset is one of the smallest known primates and is the smallest monkey. The tiny primates measure just 14 to 16 centimeters in length and the males weigh about five ounces and the females weigh in at just over four ounces. The primate is not only known by its small size, but also is tawny fur, its ringed tail that is often as long as its body, and its ease at avoiding humans in the wild.
Habitat of the Pygmy Marmoset
The Pygmy Marmoset is known to be native to the rainforest canopies of eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, western Brazil, and southeastern Colombia. These primates rarely, if ever, are seen on the ground and because of their small size they rarely need to come out of the canopies of the trees, even finding their water up there in the tree tops.
The Pygmy Marmoset’s Diet
These primates have a very diverse diet that includes more than 60 different plant species and their exudates as well as a wide selection of arthropods. Many assume that these tiny creatures feed mostly on fruit, but this is not the case. The monkeys will eat fruit, but they are not the main part of the diet of these primates. The Pygmy Marmoset is able to bore holes into the bark of trees for water, sap, and even plant matter and insects. The monkeys usually stick to the trees, but when on the ground they are adept hunters there, as well.
The Pygmy Marmoset is usually monogamous and they enter into lifelong relationships with one another. They usually live in groups of two to ten and the female’s fertile cycle lasts about three to four weeks and then gestation lasts anywhere from 135 to 146 days. There is not a definite mating period, but births seem to occur most often during May and June and then through October through the end of January. The infants are cared for by their mothers, their fathers, and the other group members and are carried in the mouths of their mothers as well as other adults.
Unlike a lot of primate species in these regions of the world, the Pygmy Marmoset is not threatened, mostly because they do not have any significance to humans one way other another. That being said, this is a primate species that is often kept as a pet in the regions in which they are native and beyond. The Pygmy Marmoset is an interesting species, due in large part to the fact that they are so hard to observe for long periods of time when in the wild.
Those interested in conjuring up a mental image of the Pygmy Marmoset simply need to imagine the face of those popular Troll dolls in the 1990s with brownish gold fur around the face and body. This mental image offers an incredible likeness to these monkeys!