Marmoset (Pygmy) / Cebuella pygmaea niveiventris

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The pygmy marmoset is the world’s smallest monkey

Pygmy marmosets are the world’s smallest monkeys. They have fine, silky coats and long hairs on their cheeks and head which form a mane that conceals their almond shaped ears.

They live in groups of up to 15 individuals consisting of an adult breeding pair and their offspring of various ages. They have special scent glands for marking their territories which are vigorously defended. When two males of different groups meet, they threaten each other with rapid flattening and erection of the ear tufts and walk near each other with their backs arched. They have at least 10 different forms of vocal expression, including a trill to communicate over long distances, a high sharp warning whistle and a clicking sound for threats. They also communicate with facial expressions, body posture and hair erection.

The dominant female of the group gives birth to non-identical twins after a gestation period of 142 days. The babies are usually carried by the male and only returned to the female for feeding.

Pygmy marmosets are omnivores feeding mostly on berries, buds, fruits and flowers. They also use their long incisor teeth to gnaw holes into a favourite tree trunk in order to drink the sap which is a very important source of nutrients. They also occasionally eat insects and small vertebrates.