Feb 19, 2009

The Smallest Monkeys in the World


Image from Froso Zoo via DRB

If you’re a sucker for cute furry animals then you’ll be in for a treat over at Dark Roasted Blend, who this week have collated a spread of some of the not-so-well-known primates of the planet.

The “Aww” inducing list includes the titchy thumb-sized pygmy marmoset monkey, named after the French word marmouset, which means shrimp, or dwarf, “They range in length from 5 to 6 inches not including the tail, which is an amazing 6 to 8 inches,” say DRB. There are 18 recorded species of marmoset and, unlike other monkeys they have claws rather than nails, tactile hairs on their wrists and lack wisdom teeth, making them slightly more primitive than other monkeys.

Rare Albino Pygmy Marmoset Twins

Image from Froso Zoo via National Geographic

Pygmy marmosets are found in the rainforests of Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Columbia. They live in the upper canopy of the forest, no doubt to steer clear of bigger, heavier predators, and survive on an omnivorous diet of fruit, leaves, insects, small reptiles and their favorite nibble, tree sap. Specialized incisors enable the marmoset to gnaw through even the toughest tree bark, allowing easy access to their favorite gummy fluid.

Adult Marmoset Monkey

Image via Davidson College

Living in groups of two to six, usually consisting of a breeding pair plus their offspring, marmoset families are fiercely territorial often defending an area of up to 100 acres
– that’s a lot of rainforest for the midget mammals. Don’t expect to see them in the wild though; they’re nippy little blighters and move like lighting through the trees, so you’ll have to make do with these sweet pics instead.




Source 1, 2, 3

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