Pygmy Marmoset- The World’s Smallest Monkey

So many of us have heard of the Amazon Rainforest and if you have been alive in 2019 then you probably have heard about the fires happening in the region.  The Amazon Rainforest covers a massive area of South America and has enormous biodiversity and biocapacity, which means there is a LOT of species living there and the rainforest is so vast, it has the ability to sustain lots of life.

Scientists estimate there is around 10 MILLION species living in the Amazon Rainforest and among the 10 million there is one amazing species known as the Pygmy Marmoset.  The Pygmy Marmoset is truly a pygmy, little cutie, weighing in at slightly over 100 grams, they are a delicate and tiny primate.

One thing I find the coolest about these mini primates is the fact they are called gummivores.  Someone asked me once if that meant they eat gummy worms and as cute as that sounds, it is unfortunately not true.  Gummivores are animals that specialize in eating the sap or gum from the gum tree, while supplementing their diet with insects. Pygmy Marmosets rely heavily on the gum trees and use their specialized teeth to scraped holes into the bark, which causes the trees to excrete a sap or gum that the little monkeys feast on.  If you want to learn more about other animals that are gummivores then check out the What Is A Gummivore page.  When they are not working on building up sap puddles in the tree bark they are being opportunistic and catching passing insects.

Pygmy Marmosets are great communicators and have strong family bonds.  The details and data from scientists is interesting, lengthy and detailed and has far more information then we can list in this article. In a shortened form, they build highly cooperative groups with siblings and other family members working together on infant care, spending time looking out for predators, foraging and communicating with the infants to help them learn primary vocalizations.  Their list of vocalizations is rather vast and they have developed a intricate system of communication which is useful during parental care and traveling as a group.  Pygmy Marmosets also communicate during feeding and foraging, along with coming into contact with predators or other groups of primates.

These special primates are small, but beyond special.  If you want to learn more about this vulnerable animal- head over to the Pygmy Marmoset Fact Sheet.



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