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Animal Data > Pygmy Marmoset

(Cebuella pygmaea)

Status Distribution Sexually Mature
Not listed as threatened Tropical rainforests of West Brazil,East Peru, South East Columbia, and East Ecuador. 18 - 24 months
Number of Young Gestation Life Span
2 140 days 11 years

The pygmy marmosets prefer low secondary growth along streams where cover is thick, visibility good and insects abundant. They live in the trees and are active during the day, particularly morning and late afternoon. At night they sleep in holes in the trees. They move using all four feet, running along the branches.

They feed mainly on the sap or gum from trees, and have specially adapted teeth for gouging holes in the trees to make the sap flow. They also eat fruit, buds and insects.

They live in family groups of 5 - 10. The male carries the young on his back, handing them back to the mother for feeding.

The pygmy marmoset uses a variety of sounds, including a trill for communicating over distance, a high sharp warning whistle and a clicking sound for threats.

Main Features

Smallest New World primate. The pygmy marmoset has grey-brown fur, with a faintly ringed tail.

In Captivity

The pygmy marmosets at Marwell are fed twice a day. In the morning they have a specially prepared cake, which provides most of the animal protein that they need. In the afternoon they are given a mixture of different fruits. They are occasionally given insects, usually mealworms or locusts. The mealworms are put in a tube. They drop out of the tube at irregular intervals and the marmosets have to search amongst the bushes to find them. This is done to ensure that the marmosets retain their natural behaviour patterns.

Their enclosure has heated accommodation, and an outside area with lots of bushes and branches.

©2009 Marwell Wildlife