Pygmy Marmoset

Pygmy Marmoset (Cebuella pygmaea) has an adult body weight of 100 grams. It is the smallest monkey in the world. The species is found in the Amazonian regions of Columbia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, and Bolivia. Feeding on tree gum and sap occupies 67 percent of Pygmy marmoset feeding time, and part of which is devoted to gnawing holes in the bark. These monkeys also forage for insects and arthropods in the vine tangle and fruits. The geographical distribution of Pygmy marmosets is limited by distribution of the trees producing the sap and gum they eat. They have tiny home ranges centered around whatever the main food tree is at the time.

Pygmy marmosets live in small groups, with a single adult male, a single adult female, and offspring of various ages. Monogamy is the normal social structure for this species. They give birth to twins at six-month interval. The young are carried mainly by the adult male and only change to their mother to nurse during their first three months of life. During the night, Pygmy marmosets sleep in vine tangles or in tree holes.

These tiny monkeys move by leaping and running and their vocalization is a chirp that resembles that of a cricket. One of their unique features is that they "park" their infants near their foraging sites. Infants spend most of their time "parked" during their first six weeks of life, and thus Pygmy marmosets do not bear the same high costs of infant carrying as do other monkeys.


  1. Primate Adaptation and Evolution. John G. Fleagle
  2. Primate Anatomy: An Introduction. Friderun Ankel-Simons
  3. Monogamy: Mating Strategies and Partnerships in Birds, Humans and Other Mammals. Ulrich H. Reichard, Christophe Boesch

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