Bio Facts: Marmoset, Pygmy
Western Brazil, southeastern Columbia, eastern Ecuador, Peru and northern Bolivia
Trees and shrubs in tropical forests
Body (excluding tail) is 5 to 14.5 inches long. Tail is nearly 6 to 16 inches long, and has dark rings. Head and neck are brownish-gray. Back is yellowish-gray and underside can be from white to tawny. Forelimbs are shorter than back limbs. Feet have claws, yet the big toe has a flat nail. The hands and feet have a yellowish-orange appearance.
Up to 16 years in captivity
In the wild, they eat spiders, insects, sap, gum, latex, and occasionally fruit. In the Zoo, they are fed monkey chow, crickets, mealworms, chopped apples, oranges, grapes, raisins and bananas.
Gestation period lasts between 130-150 days. The female often gives birth to twins. Both the male and female care for the young. They require almost constant attention for the first two weeks, and are nursed until 3 months of age. The adult size is reached at 2 years of age.
Pygmy marmosets are diurnal. They live in small groups of 2-15 individuals. Territory is between 25-100 acres. Scent glands located on the chest and genital areas are used to mark territory. Chirping calls warn of predators.
The canine teeth are slightly longer than the incisors. The lower incisors are used to groom one another, as well as making holes in trees for feeding.
Pygmy marmosets do not have prehensile tails. It is used to help maintain balance. Forelimbs are shorter than the hind limbs, which help with running, jumping and leaping in the canopy of the forest. Claws are designed for gripping tree branches and other objects.
Pygmy marmosets are the smallest living monkeys.
They can leap horizontally 40 inches or more.
In the late 1970’s, people in the Putumayo region of Columbia frequently had pygmy marmosets as pets.
The main threats to the pygmy marmoset’s survival are habitat destruction and the pet trade.
Jacksonville Zoo History:
The first pygmy marmosets arrived here in October 1990. They have been part of the collection ever since.