What's the world's smallest monkey?

Have you ever wondered what the smallest animals on Earth are? Look at these interesting facts about marmosets, the smallest monkeys in the world.

smallest monkey

The smallest monkey in the world is the pygmy marmoset (cebuella pygmaea). The size of these tiny little monkeys is 11-15 sm so sometimes they’re called “finger monkeys”.

How do they look?

The color of the fur of the external part of the monkey is a mixture of grey, brownish-gold and black color, while the belly and legs are dark yellow or orange. The distinguishing features of this species of monkeys are black rings on the tail and special signs on the face, which are the white stripes like a mustache. The length of the tail exceeds the length of the body of a monkey and is 17.2 – 22.9 cm. There’s no difference between male and female monkeys, except the fact that females are a little bigger in size. Pygmy marmosets have very sharp front teeth and claws due to their eating habits.

smallest monkey breed

What do they eat?

60 — 80% of the diet of the world’s smallest monkeys consists of the rubber tree juice and grapes. They make deep round holes in the plants and eat the appeared exudates of plant. Due to such unusual food, these monkeys have a special structure of the digestive system - the part of the cecum is extremely lengthened for digesting such a heavy diet. Insects are another important part of the diet. Butterflies, grasshoppers, spiders, beetles and ants are especially popular. Pygmy tamarins supplement their diet with fruits, flower buds, and nectar.

tiny monkey

Where do they live?

The smallest monkeys on Earth live in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and Brazil. Their favorite habitats are the evergreen forests in the river valleys. Although their light weight allows to get to the top branches of the trees they live within 20 meters above the ground because on the top of the tree they can become an easy prey for predatory birds.

How do they reproduce?

The female gives birth one or two times a year, regardless of the season. Not only the mother brings up the baby, but the whole flock. Most of the time the father, alternating with the other males, holds the baby on his back to protect him from the predators. The duties of the female is only breast-feeding and recovery of her own health. Babies are born with the fur different to the parents’. On the body it is lemon-yellow, marked with black on the outside, and the head is dark grey with a yellow edge around the ears.

tiniest monkey

Do they live in flocks?

About 83% of the animals live in permanent groups of two to nine individuals. They include a dominant male, a reproductive female and two to four successive generations of the young. In rare cases, members of the pack are not related to adults. A home of a flock is the area from 0.1 to 0.4 ha. The specific location of deployment is not constant and changes after the depletion of trees. Male animals usually battle with the enemies to defend their possessions.

How do they communicate?

The members of the flock constantly interact with sound, chemical and visual signals. Interestingly, depending on the kind of information to be transmitted sound signals vary from whistling to screeching. Different combinations of certain sounds indicate specific messages.

smallest monkey on earth

Interesting facts about world’s smallest monkeys

  • They are able to hold their weight only with the tips of their sharp and long claws

  • These babies can jump up to 5 m in length
  • The head of the animal can rotate to 180 degrees
  • The female animals know how to temporarily stop their own ovulation in order to care for younger brothers and sisters from the flock
  • The survival rate of cubs of the world’s smallest monkeys is only 67%
  • Don’t try to keep marmosets at home. They can die from depression because of missing their flock

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