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Did you Know

Animals - Pygmy

The pygmy marmoset is a tiny primate that is exclusively found in the jungles of South America. The pygmy marmoset is known to be the smallest known species of monkey in the world.

The pygmy marmoset averages at about 15cm tall, with a 20cm long tail behind it. The pygmy marmoset has sharp claws which make the pygmy marmoset excellent at climbing trees and the long tail of the pygmy marmoset gives this little monkey fantastic balance when jumping between tree branches.

The low weight of the pygmy marmoset allows the pygmy marmoset to reach the canopy tree tops, a place where many of the larger species of monkey cannot reach. Here the pygmy marmoset eats fruits, berries, insects and small reptiles safely high above any dangerous predators.

The small size of the pygmy marmoset means that it has developed a number of nicknames from locals and tourists alike, such as the pocket monkey and the little lion. The tiny size of this miniature monkey means that the pygmy marmoset if often very difficult to observe in the wild.

The pygmy marmoset has been increasingly popular as an exotic pet, but they are very hard to keep. When a baby pygmy marmoset is taken away from the family it can often die quickly due to depression. Baby pygmy marmosets also need feeding every two hours for their first two weeks in the world so they can be very time-consuming pets. Pet pygmy marmosets can take a grave dislike towards their owners and some have been known to bite their owners and throw feces at them, as a form of attack.

After a gestation period of around 4.5 months, the female pygmy marmoset gives birth to one or two babies. The male pygmy marmoset will often carry the babies after birth until they are big enough and strong enough to look after themselves.

Pygmy marmosets live in groups which tend to consist of the head male and female pygmy marmosets and their offspring, usually about four litters. There can be more than one male in a pygmy marmoset troop, but the dominant male pygmy marmoset will remain the dominant male of that troop.