Pygmy marmosets are known by different names, such as little lion, dwarf monkey, pocket and finger monkeys due to their small size when compared to other primates. Basically these fanciful names all have the same meaning.
Pygmy monkeys are the smallest group of monkeys weighing less than 5 ounces even when fully mature. They are cute animals which many cherish as house pets because;
- They are great pets to relax and play with.
- They are very similar to humans and require baths, feeding and rest on hammocks.
- They are tiny creatures that stick to finger and you can walk freely with them.
Keeping pygmy marmosets as pets would require a good environment for them to thrive. The cost of keeping them as pets usually includes building a 24 hour enclosure, food, training, cleaning and veterinary specialist care.
Social Behavior of Pygmy Marmosets:
These wonderful primates have awesome communication skills. By making vocal calls, they chatter to beacon their mate and when in danger. In addition to these loud calls they make clicking sounds too.
These marmoset monkeys live in small groups of at most 12 members. They enjoy social bonding and spend most of their free time together. They get along so well with each other and go into deep mourning when one member dies. They usually commit their last sweat to help a dying or threatened member.
Habitation of Pygmy Marmosets:
These marmoset monkeys live in a wide variety of areas. They are seen in countries like Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, and parts of Bolivia. Due to their small nature, they live most of their lifetime on tree tops and are rarely seen on the ground so as to avoid predators.
Pygmy marmosets often blend with the environment and can stay well hidden from sight. They have their nests at the edges of tree branches making it harder for other living things to reach them.
Diet and Feeding Habits:
These sets of marmoset monkeys have a different diet from other species of monkeys. Their diets consist of sap, resin and gum. They survive on high carbohydrate content diets. If saps and gums aren’t enough they can feed on nectars, fruits, plants, and insects like spiders, grasshoppers, butterflies etc.
They have very sharp teeth that enable them to penetrate woods and obtain sap. After creating holes on trees they use their tongue to suck the sap from the trees. This is usually a tedious and time consuming process which these primates are well adapted to. Marmoset monkeys are very patient animals and can engage in feeding for hours to days.
If you rear pygmy marmosets, you should note that their feeding time is very important and preparing their meals requires great attention. A variety of diet is very important to avoid loss of appetite. To maintain the optimum health status of your monkeys you must constantly feed them with balanced diets.
Reproduction in Marmoset Monkeys:
They reproduce all year round and mate as often as possible as long as they’re provided enough food and shelter. Destruction of their natural habitats slows down their ability to produce offspring.
Successful mating usually leads to conception of a set of twin finger marmosets. These young marmosets can be demanding and very fussy and require constant attention. They don’t eat much food at once so they become hungry every couple of hours. Raising finger marmosets can be tedious on the mother.
The pygmy marmosets housing requires a large cage with many tunnels, swings, towels and plenty of plants to mimic wildlife environment. Plenty of sunlight is also required therefore provision should be made for sunlight. If the sunlight is insufficient; infrared lamp or a heating source can be used.
The cage should be regularly cleaned to get rid of the marmoset’s pungent urine smell. Despite being small, they need a relatively large area. Cage should be up to 6 ft. tall, 3 ft. deep and 6 ft. wide. Usually the bigger the cage the better for housing needs. A lot of people believe a small cage is okay for them owing to their small size but this is not true.
Pygmy marmosets love to explore their home from time to time and this should be looked into while making a house for your pet to prevent congestion and boredom.
Temperatures of 70F-80F are needed in indoor cages. Use of heat lamps is also recommended so they have places where they can sunbath. Heat lamps should be placed far from marmoset’s reach to prevent burning.
Outdoor cages require some form of shade especially in the summertime. 40 to 60% humidity is usually perfect. Moist peat (floor) can be used to maintain a high humidity.