Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The World's Smallest Monkeys

At only about six inches long and weighing four ounces, pygmy marmosets (also called Finger Monkeys) are the smallest true monkeys in the world.
Baby pygmy marmosets. Photo: FactZoo.

Native to mature evergreen forests in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, pygmy marmosets are usually found in areas near streams or floodplains. Although they are primarily tree-dwellers, pygmy marmosets rarely venture higher than 65 feet into the upper part of the forest canopy.

Pygmy marmosets feed primarily on tree sap and gum. They have sharp incisors and claw-like fingernails to dig into tree bark and access untapped sources of food. Other food sources include butterflies, moths, beetles and ants.
Photo: Pablo YĆ©pez
Pygmy marmosets are extremely social animals that feed and sleep together. Communal roosts consisting of tangles of vines and branches in trees function as sleeping sites. These marmosets spend their daylight hours feeding together in the mornings, midday’s and evenings with bouts of play, rest and grooming in between.

Despite their small size and undeniable cuteness, pygmy marmosets do not make good pets, as they do bite and throw feces. The species is currently not endangered, but as with all rainforest animals they do face threats from habitat loss.

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