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Marmoset Monkeys

Updated on June 26, 2014

Marmoset Monkeys

Marmosets belong to the family Callitrichidae of the New World monkeys. All marmosets are very small, with a body measuring between 6 and 8.5 inches (16-22 cm) and a tail of 10 to 14 inches (25-36 cm). They weigh between 3 and 6 ounces (85-170 g). The pygmy marmoset is the smallest monkey.

Marmosets live in South America in the tropical forests and hardwood forests. Marmosets are very active and spend most of their day searching for food and grooming each other.

Marmoset Monkey© Copyright Michael Gäbler and licensed for reuse under CC BY 3.0.

About Marmoset Monkeys

Marmoset Monkey claws and non-prehensile tail
Marmoset Monkey claws and non-prehensile tail

© Copyright Paulo B. Chaves and licensed for reuse under CC BY 2.0.

Marmosets do not have nails like monkeys (except on their great toe), but hooked claws. These claws are a good design for this small mammal because its paws would not be big enough to grasp a branch, but would need to dig into the bark to climb in the trees. And unlike many other monkeys, the marmoset does not have a prehensile tail (able to wrap around and grasp an object).

Marmoset Food

marmoset eating a grasshopper
marmoset eating a grasshopper

© Copyright Tambako the Jaguar and licensed for reuse under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Marmosets eat insects, lizards, leaves, flowers, seeds, gum, sap, and fruit. Their incisor teeth are the same length as their canine teeth which allows them to gouge out holes in the bark of a tree to get to the sap and gum. The marmoset will gouge out a hole, mark ownership with its scent, then return later, using its long lower incisor teeth to scrape up any gum which has oozed out.

Pygmy Marmoset(Callithrix pygmaea)

Common marmoset(Callithrix jacchus)

Black-tufted marmoset(Callithrix penicillata)

Marmoset Babies and Families

Marmoset Babies
Marmoset Babies

© Copyright jidanchaomian and licensed for reuse under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Mother marmosets will be pregnant for somewhere between 140 and 150 days. In most cases, she will give birth to twins but occasionally one or even three babies. After they are born, the father will carry the baby marmosets around on his back, returning them one by one to the mother for feeding. Marmosets live in family groups of one breeding pair and several offspring. These offspring are helpers, which carry and protect the newest youngsters after the father has finished his duty after a few weeks.

YouTube videos of baby marmosets

Are Marmosets Endangered?

Endangered Marmoset
Endangered Marmoset

Buffy-headed Marmoset

© Copyright

and licensed for reuse under CC BY 2.0.

There are roughly 20 species of marmosets. One is endangered (facing a very high risk of becoming extinct in the near future), and a few are vulnerable (facing a high risk of becoming extinct in the wild in the medium term).

Here is a list of endangered and vulnerable marmosets according to IUCN Red List of Threatened Species:

endangered marmosets

Buffy-headed Marmoset (Callithrix flaviceps)

vulnerable marmosets

Buffy-tufted-ear Marmoset (Callithrix aurita)

Golden-white Bare-ear Marmoset (Mico leucippe)

Rondon's Marmoset (Mico rondoni)

Black-crowned Dwarf Marmoset (Callibella humilis)

Goeldi's Monkey (Callimico goeldii)

Your own marmoset to love and cuddle

Did you learn anything new about marmoset monkeys?

marmoset monkey
marmoset monkey

© Copyright Tambako the Jaguar and licensed for reuse under CC BY-ND 2.0.


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    • Klockridge profile image

      Klockridge 5 years ago

      It reminds me of a furby