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Pygmy Marmoset Facts

Saptakee Sengupta
Knowing some facts about the pygmy marmoset will help you to understand its nature, characteristics, habits, and other features associated with its lifestyle. This article provides some interesting facts.
Kids are generally fond of pets, but keeping a monkey as a pet might not sound very familiar. It's because they are extremely notorious and keeping them is a daunting task. However, a pygmy marmoset is a completely different species. It's one of the cutest breeds of monkeys and its tiny size makes it very popular among kids. However, taking legal permission to keep it as a pet is required and you simply cannot buy it from any pet store. Knowing some facts about the pygmy marmoset will also help kids with homework regarding finding out details about uncommon animals dwelling on Earth.
Petting this creature is not at all a big deal if you know its nature and the conditions required for rearing it. Facts about the pygmy marmoset are explained in the following paragraphs.

General Info

The scientific name of the pygmy marmoset is Callithrix pygmaea and it belongs to the genus Cebuella. It is the smallest monkey species, or rather the smallest of all primates. This creature is found mainly in South Africa but is also distributed in Peru, Ecuador, and the Brazilian rainforest. Other regions inhabited by this species are Southeastern Colombia, Upper Amazon Basin, and Northern Bolivia. It's commonly known as the Dwarf Monkey.

Body Statistics

This tiny creature grows to a maximum length of 11-15 cm, weighing nearly 129-190 grams. Those that are kept in zoos might live longer than those in the wild. The average life span in the wild is 10-12 years, while for those living in zoos is 20 years. It prefers to dwell on river basins located close to forests, cultivated lands, stream sides, bamboo thickets, and flooded regions. It also lives in the tropical rainforests and underneath trees.

Body Features

A pygmy marmoset can climb trees with its claws and it also has a prehensile tail having a size of 15-22 cm. The pattern of its tail is quite different from the other marmoset species. Dark ringlike features are present all over the tail. It has a furry body and the fur is a typical agouti, having a base color of gray and buff. The fur has stripes of green and yellow in it. The tail appears banded while the head is more or less grizzled. It is also known as leoncito (the lion) owing to the presence of a mane on the head and chest.


Its body coloration and structure is an adaptation by which it keeps itself away from predators. This arboreal creature is highly-active although it is rarely found on high trees or bushes. It has distinct claws that provide defense. It displays prowess and strength only on sensing danger by arching its back, raising the ears, clenching the teeth, and exposing its genitals towards the enemy. Otherwise, it is quite timid and gentle.


The female reproduces twins or triplets. The babies love to live with their parents, and the family usually consists of six members. While keeping a baby pygmy marmoset, you will find it going through depression for being taken away from its family. The babies express their sadness on being confined alone inside a cage. This animal has the ability to emit ultrasonic sounds on sensing danger. It is also capable of making high-pitched alarming sounds that can be a squeak, or an open-mouthed or a closed-mouthed trill. A pygmy marmoset also makes different kinds of physical gestures for communication.
Check out more information about a pygmy marmoset's habitat and characteristics from an animal enthusiast before bringing it home as a pet.