The world smallest monkey, the Pygmy Marmoset

The tiny pygmy marmoset is the smallest monkey in the world. Measuring only some 13 centimeters (5in), this tawny colored primate is as big as a soda can! They have long hair on their heads and chests, giving the appearance of a mane, and a huge tail that can be as long as their body.

pygmy marmoset The world smallest monkey, the Pygmy Marmoset

Pygmy marmoset twin clinging on to a finger

These petite primates inhabit the Amazon basin, living primarily in lowland, tropical rainforests. Because of their small size and long tails they are perfectly suited for the understory layer of the rainforest with its long bendable braches and many vines for the Pygmy Marmosets to sleep on.

pygmy marmoset on tree The world smallest monkey, the Pygmy Marmoset

The pygmy marmoset lives in the lower layers of tropical amazon rainforest

Pygmy marmosets are very active and agile creatues, that run along branches, up and down trunks and occasionally leap between trees. Although they feed on fruits, buds and small insects, most of their diet comes from tapping trees for sap! Using its elongated sharp incisors and claw-like nails, this cute primate spends the majority of its time gouging holes to collect its gummy sap.

pygmy marmoset head The world smallest monkey, the Pygmy Marmoset

Pygmy marmoset are the world smallest monkey

This tree-dwelling primate lives in small groups or family units consisting of two to nine individuals. Like other primates, daily social behaviours of Pygmy Marmosets include grooming, huddling, and play. Interestingly, the two litters that the female usually produces each year have a high chance to consist of twins or even triplets – over 70% of the births are twins!

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Jolle Jolles

Written by Jolle Jolles

Jolle Jolles is a zoologist working at the University of Cambridge with a love for natural history and animal behaviour and enjoys fascinating others about our weird and wonderful natural world. Follow Jolle on Twitter or sent him a personal message.

  • Tracey

    These are cute, i did not know that they eat sap or that the y had twins or triplets.

  • Sanne

    een soort mini gremlins…heel lief

  • Jelles

    Fascinating! I like your site. It contains interesting stories about interesting animals I have never heard of. My compliments for the layout and attractive visuals which you have used.
    I will come back!

    • http://mudfooted.com Jolle Jolles

      Great, thank you! I am sure Mudfooted will keep on fascinating you!

  • Gulnara

    right! Gremlins!! but very sweet)

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  • Alan

    Where can I get one? lol

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003405431636 Nick

      they are ADORABLE. I wish you wnuldot have told though WHERE they come from. It seems pet stores and poachers go and try to sell these creatures. They need to be free and where they are at. I sure enjoyed the pics though. Thanks for sharing.

      • http://mudfooted.com Jolle Jolles

        Thanks Nick, you are right it is horrible pet stores and poachers try to capture Pygmy Marmosets. However, by writing this post I hope to raise awareness so that we will be better able to protect and conserve these wonderful animals!

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  • http://mudfooted babylex

    they are so cute!

  • luz

    My husband n I are thinkin of buyin the smallest monkey can u help me.??

  • http://news21.uscannenberg.org/index.php/member/134835/ Dulce Keister

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your content seem to be running off the screen in Ie. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The design look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Thanks

  • Christina Bowers

    thay are so cute but are they going extinct if so how many are there left like u said (JOLLE) they need to be free, they need to be somewhere to repopulate don’tcha think so i do.

  • Kimesha Daniels

    Hi Jolle Jolles I’m very amazed by the little animal I never seen one in my life before and I’m very intrested in learning more about them please contact me please I would like to hear from you I live in north america. Thanks…..