The pygmy marmoset, the world’s smallest monkey

The pygmy marmoset, the world's smallest monkey - Culture's Ways

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The pygmy marmoset, a small New World monkey native to rainforests of the western Amazon Basin in South America.


What is the pygmy marmoset?

It is notable for being the smallest monkey and one of the smallest primates in the world at just over 100 grams (3.5 oz). It is generally found in evergreen and river edge forests and is a gum-feeding specialist, or a gummivore.


About 83% of the pygmy marmoset population lives in stable troops of two to nine individuals, including a dominant male, a breeding female, and up to four successive litters of offspring. The modal size of a standard stable troop would be 6 individuals. Although most groups consist of family members, some may also include 1-2 additional adult members. Members of the group communicate using a complex system including vocal, chemical, and visual signals.

There are three main calling signals that depend on the distance the call needs to travel. These monkeys may also make visual displays when threatened or to show dominance. Chemical signaling using secretions from glands on the chest and genital area allow the female to indicate to the male when she is able to reproduce. The female gives birth to twins twice a year and the parental care is shared between the group.


The pygmy marmoset, due to its extensive population size, is not thought to be at risk of large population declines. As a result, it is listed as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The species was originally listed on Appendix I by CITES due to wildlife trade but has since been downgraded to Appendix II. It is threatened by habitat loss in some areas of its range, and by the pet trade in others (i.e. Ecuador).

Image: By Brian.gratwicke – CC BY 2.5
Text: Wikipedia contributors. “Pygmy marmoset.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 6 Aug. 2017. Web. 14 Aug. 2017.

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