Pygmy Marmosets

Finger Monkeys

Welcome to my Pygmy Marmosets fan page, here to provide you with all the information about the world’s smallest monkey. The Pygmy Marmoset is native to the tropical forests of South America. They are extremely social mammals, and have unique ways of communication. Pygmy Marmoset pets can be difficult to keep, but if done so properly can be extremely rewarding.

Pygmy Marmoset Information

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Pygmy Marmoset Media

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Pygmy Marmosets for Sale

Pygmy Marmoset Yelling

Pygmy Marmosets are so cute, everyone wants to have one as a pet. Be weary that they are very hard to keep and require constant attention, as much as a human child. If you would like to purchase one then click here, more information on breeders and babies can be found here and here.

Pygmy Marmoset Social Structure

Pygmy Marmosets operate in family units of two to five. There is usually a dominant male and female, who lead and breed together. The Pygmy Marmosets have unique sound and scent calls to get one anothers attention. Find out more about their communication here. If you are interested in the social structure of Pygmy Marmosets then click here.

Pet Pygmy Marmosets

If you are interested in keeping Pet Pygmy Marmosets then at first you need to get a special permit, these are difficult to get and vary from state to country. You have to have a special type of permit to have these kinds of primates. Another thing you have to make sure there is a special type of primate veterinarian in your area, not an exotic animal veterinarian a special type of primate specialist.

Pet Pygmy Marmosets are extremely difficult to keep, as a baby they require feeding every two hours for up to two weeks. Pet Pygmy Marmoset Monkeys are also known to throw feces, to attack, and to bite their owners. These things make keeping a Pygmy Marmoset extremely difficult.

Pygmy Marmosets also live in groups, this would be unfair to keep them in a solitary cage. Pygmy Marmosets usually live in family units of up to five monkeys. It is also illegal to import different types of primates in the United States, and illegal to export Pygmy Marmosets in South America.

Despite this many people still have Pet Pygmy Marmosets, these are devoted pet keepers and are usually extremely knowledgeable about keeping them. Do your research and you will be able to keep a pet Marmoset.


Baby Pygmy Marmosets

Baby Pygmy Marmosets are some of the cutest animals on this planet, they are so small and furry you can’t just but help to break a smile at their appearance. If you are interested in Baby Pygmy Marmosets as pets then be prepared to spend plenty of time caring for them. They require constant time and care, be prepared to spend a lot of time providing emotional support if you plant to raise them. Baby Pygmy Marmosets are considered babies till they are about two months, when they can start to move on their own. The survival rate of baby Pygmy Marmosets is only 67% for the first six months of their life. A staggering figure of nearly 80% mortality rate in pygmy marmosets occurs within the first two months of their life.

Baby Pygmy Marmosets require constant feeding every two hours of baby human food to be adequately nourished. You will have to let them ride on your hands to stimulate their natural environment where they hang on to their mothers.


Albino Pygmy Marmosets

Recently in the Roso Zoo in Ostersund, twin Albino Pygmy Marmoset Monkeys were born, unfortunately both were killed hours after birth. These Pygmy Marmosets are exceedingly rare due to the fact that they lack pigment, making them appear like Chewbacca from star wars.

Although Pygmy Marmosets are usually born in twins, Albinos are rare and prized. The zoo keepers tried everything in their power to keep these cute albino pygmy marmoset monkeys alive but they died shortly after birth. This is likely due to being Albino the Pygmy Marmosets have decreased immune systems.

These were the first Albino Pygmy Marmoset monkeys born in captivity, unfortunately they died.


Breeding Pygmy Marmosets

Breeding Pygmy Marmosets is an incredible challenge and should not be taken by somebody unprepared; one should do adequate research and make sure they have the correct legal documents. You have to be a certified licensed breeder, and must possess specific classified license which varies for each state and country.

Marmosets usually give birth to twins, triplets and quadruplets also due occur. Breeders will hand-raise Pygmy Marmosets in an effort to produce better pets. Although these are still wild animals and are not domesticated. Pygmy Marmoset breeders remove infants from their parents for hand raising when they are between three and ten days of age, so the infants can receive colostrums and milk for the antibodies. Baby Marmoset Infants are incredibly delicate and usually only weight between 28 and 35 grams at birth. They are born with their eyes open, a full coat of fur, and mouthful of teeth, and extremely strong muscular forearms for grasping onto their parents.

Baby Pygmy Marmosets cannot thermo regulate for the first two months of their life, the father carries the infant the majority of the time and the female only carries it to nurse. The baby will normally ride across the parent’s neck and shoulders. To indicate the health of the baby Pygmy Marmoset check the tail, if they hold their tails limp the baby is in distress.

To hand breed and raise a baby Pygmy Marmoset requires an incredible amount of devotion, time and emotional energy. To simulate their natural lives, infants should be carried by their owners as much as possible for warmth and emotional security. Keeping a baby on a stuffed animal surrogate for extended periods of time is unnatural and cruel, you must be a mother to the baby. Infant Pygmy Marmosets require the stimulation and affected afforded by constant contact.

If the baby must be placed for short periods of time on a surrogate, use a heating pad under the stuffed animal. Do not use a regular plug-in type heading pad because if the baby crawls between the stuffed animal and the pad it can quickly overheat and die.

Baby Infant Pygmy Marmosets should be fed Enfamil human baby formula, once a week drop a pediatric multi vitamin into the formula. Formula should be warmed to about 100 degrees before feeding. Newborns must be fed every two hours around the clock and must be stimulated in the perineal area to urinate and defecate. Babies will start to sleep through the night when they are about two weeks old, weaning occurs about 8 to 10 weeks of age.


Pygmy Marmoset Facts

The word marmoset is said to be adapted from a French word meaning a grotesque image or mannequin!

Marmosets usually have twins; triplets and quadruplets also occur.

Newborns must be fed every two hours around the clock.

Pygmy Marmoset diet is composed of about 80% exudates, gums an saps and 16% insects.

The Pigmy Marmoset’s claws help it cling to tree trunks.

Scientists discovered new cousins (a new Marmoset species) in 1993.

Pigmy Marmosets can live to be 15 years old.

The small size of the Pigmy Marmoset is great for hiding in the leaves from predators.

The smallness of this monkey doesn’t keep him from chasing intruders from his territory.


Pygmy Marmoset Predators

Due to the Pygmy Marmosets size they are not as vulnerable as their larger cousins, they are highly adaptable and can live in many high up places in the rainforest. Pygmy Marmosets can hide in true foliage when predators come near, although they cannot hide from habitat destruction. This is the biggest threat to Pygmy Marmosets, humans cutting down trees for farming, paper mills, and mining threaten these animals. If we do not conserver our rainforest Pygmy Marmosets are likely to disappear off the face of the earth.

Big natural predators to Pygmy Marmosets are Boa Constrictors, usually 10-14 feet they live in the tropical parts of South America. They will hang from trees and catch prey, they have excellent camouflage. The Boa Constrictor can swallow a tiny Pygmy Marmoset whole.

Pythons are another threat to our Pygmy Marmoset friends. They are one of the largest snake species in the world. The Python will wrap around its enemy, suffocating it to death.

Another Predator to Pygmy Marmosets I the harpy eagle, which is the largest and most powerful bird of prey on earth. This carnivore lives in South America and will swoop down killing Pygmy Marmosets.


Pygmy Marmoset Parental Care

To insure the survival of baby Pygmy Marmosets, all members of the family until will take some part in helping to raise the offspring of the dominant female. This will greatly contribute to the survivability among wild pygmy marmosets which have a 67% survival rate of the six month of their life. A staggering figure of nearly 80% mortality rate in pygmy marmosets occurs within the first two months of their life. Infants will be carried constantly for the first two weeks of their life, but after this they are on their own. Parents will deposit two week old infants in a specific, relatively protected places and live them their for long periods of time while the adults forage in the area. This peculiar behavior is unique to Pygmy Marmosets. Common areas that the baby Pygmy Marmosets include the groups principle feeding tree, or another large tree in the group’s home range. This technique is probably practices due to the increased size of the infants, it will also decrease the cost of infant care, and will help to protect from predators such as birds.

From about the ages of two to five months, the infants will start to move on their own and are weaned by the end of the third month. Weaning begins early in Pygmy Marmosets, at the age of eight weeks, although they will not be able to find food for themselves till they are juveniles. From the age of six to twelve months Pygmy Marmosets are considered juveniles and during this phase the dominant female will likely give birth to another litter. Pygmy Marmosets will enter the sub adult age from twelve to eighteen months in which the only physical characteristics that differ from adults are their smaller body and genital sizes. During this time playing will take up a large portion of their time, they will learn valuable skills while playing.


Pygmy Marmoset Reproduction

Like other primate cooperatively breeding species, pygmy marmoset groups generally have one dominant breeding female while the other adults will remain in the group without breeding. This is to insure the best genes are preserved, according to Darwin’s theory of natural selection. The sub-adults will stay within the family unit to help rear and raise the children. Sub-adults are deprived of the ability to reproduce in the groups, there is only one dominant female. Female Pygmy Marmosets will reach sexual maturity between 15 and 17 months of age, but if she is not the dominant female she will be suppressed of reproduction by interactions of the dominant female in the group. If the breeding female disappears from the group, her oldest daughter will become the next dominant female. In nature when an offspring of the sub-females gives birth, they are often victims of neglect or infanticide by other group members. Males will reach sexual maturity at around 16 months of age.

Adult males are interested in mating with the dominant female throughout the year, but the breeding female is not receptive to their advances during pregnancy or during the three to six weeks after parturition. The dominant male to establish his dominance, will aggressively intervene between any males attempting to mate with the dominant female. Court ship behaviors of the dominant male include approaching and following the female, strutting, tongue-flicking, sniffing and licking the females urine, scent marking using their glands, huddling, and grooming. If interested the female will respond to these behaviors by presenting their genitals to the male, raising their tails into an arch position, scent marking, huddling, and grooming.

Pygmy Marmosets do not have birth seasons but there are two birth peaks during the year, in the months of May and June and between November and January. Females will produce two litters each year and give birth to twins about 70% of the time in the wild. In captivity twins are born 76% of the time, triplets 8%, and singles 16%.


Pygmy Marmoset Social Interaction and Behavior

Groups or family units of Pygmy Marmosets range in size from two to nine individuals, but the average group size is about five. There have been documented cases of solitary ranging individuals in nature, of both sexes but this is less rare, since primates are largely social creatures. The family units are composed one dominant female, who reigns supreme over the group. A reproductive male, second in command, and the offspring from one to four litters of these two. The older siblings are dominant over the younger siblings except for infants who are not a part of the dominance hierarchy. The domain male is leader of all of the males in the family. Dominant individuals can be distinguished by which animals displace others at gum feeding sites, the dominant one will always eat first.

Like other primates daily social behaviors of Pygmy Marmosets include grooming, huddling, and play. During resting times throughout the day, the group will precede to groom each other picking out tiny insects. The sub-females will groom the dominant female. Huddling is composed of many Pygmy Marmosets remaining in close contact during a period of rest, this is a common social activity among family units. Play is mostly seen among the children and the sub-adults, this can either be solitary or social. Social play constitutes chasing or rough housing within groups of two or three Marmosets. Young Pygmy Marmosets will play during resting times in the later morning and early afternoon.


Pygmy Marmoset Sounds and Communication

Pygmy Marmosets have at least 10 different types of vocal communication, these include a trill to communicate with other family members over long distance. A high, sharp warning whistle and a clicking sound for communicating danger and threats. They also have a sound with facial expressions, body posture and hair erection. Marmosets will also defend their territory by chasing and displaying their rumps with the tail raised and the fur fluffed up.

Common Visual displays by competing Pygmy Marmosets are used in situations of threat, to convey dominance status and alpha male stature for reproductive purposes. Pygmy Marmosets will also mob predators and animals, these mobbing behaviors involves elaborate posturing and displays of strutting, jerky movements, and body swaying. Pygmy Marmosets will mob animals such as birds, monkeys, squirrels, snakes, and even human observers!

Another common communication technique used by Pygmy Marmosets is genital display, a Pygmy Marmoset of either sex will turn its back to the observer, arches its back, raises its tail in a stiff arch, and the body and tail hair are ruffled back. This is used in dominance interactions, in territorial defense, and in sexual solicitation.

Finally Pygmy Marmosets have chemical and vocal types of communication. The three different types of calls used by Pygmy Marmosets are trills, J-calls, and long calls.

Trills are used when the Pygmy Marmosets are feeding, foraging for insects, or traveling in packs, this call is used when they are in close proximity are usually no more than five meters apart.

Yellow Pygmy MarmosetJ-calls are comprised of a series of quick notes repeated by the caller and are for medium distances. Trills and J-calls server to help inform and interact between group members and to maintain short range contact throughout the day and are heard frequently in the Amazon rainforest.

The long call is heard during traveling, it is a response to hearing calls from other groups and is given when pygmy marmosets are spread out over distances greater than 10 meters. Often times a single Pygmy Marmoset will use it when calling for their mate. It sounds like high-pitched, repeated, long notes..”kwee-kwee-kwee..”

The Pygmy Marmosets use scent in chemical communication when rubbing the scent glands found on their chest, around their anus, and their genitals. The Pygmy Marmosets will rub the scent glands on a surface, leaving a mark for others to smell. The new world monkeys have a specialized second nose, which allows them to be especially in tune with chemical cues in the environment. Another use of chemical communication is when female Pygmy Marmosets use it to let males know their reproductive status. Males are able to tell females peak fertility time from their scent glands.