Pygmy marmosets are the smallest monkey in the world and are perfectly adapted to their habitat and lifestyle.

Being the smallest (and lightest) monkey in the world gives the pygmy marmoset the benefit of being able to move quickly through the dense tropical forests it lives in. Their sharp claws and dexterous fingers are perfect for gripping on to branches and bark when climbing, and their prehensile tails make balancing a breeze!

Pygmy marmosets live in small groups of 2 to 15 individuals, led by the eldest, dominant female who is usually the only one to breed. The dominant female will normally give birth twice a year and generally will always have twins. Once the twins are born, the males will help to rear the young, often carrying them around.

They eat plants, fruits and insects, but will frequently feed on exudates from trees (gum, sap and resin), just like tamarins. Pygmy marmosets differ from tamarins as they have sharp teeth which are adapted to gnawing holes in trees, which tamarins don't have. Tamarins are often found feeding from the holes that pygmy marmosets have made!

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Interesting facts

Where they live: South America

Habitat: Tropical forests

Size: Head to body length: 117 - 152mm, head to tail length: 172 - 229mm

Weight: 107 - 141g

Threats: Pet trade