Tiny hairballs with large, almond eyes that throw askance glances at any object that manages to get hold of their attentions for the time being - that's the idea and image your mind forms of marmoset monkeys when you happen to set your eyes upon these super cute and extremely interesting miniature primates!
Marmosets belong to the New World order of primates which consists of five primate families, which are, together, referred to as the Platyrrhini parvorder and this falls under the infraorder Simiiformes. Marmosets reach a maximum length of 8 inches on reaching full maturity and exhibit a lot of primitive physical and biological characteristics as compared to modern-day primates.
For instance, marmosets' paws are equipped with claws instead of nails and their wrists have hair that are sensitive to touch which, when they brush against various objects, give this primate a feel of its contours and consistency. The following segment gives you brief insights into a lot of other interesting facts about marmosets.
Facts About Marmoset Monkeys
Before you proceed with acquainting yourself with the following facts, I suggest you take a few seconds off and take a detailed look at the picture of the common marmoset on the top right hand corner of this page. Cute, isn't it, sitting with its knees folded against its chest, assuming the stance of a primitive philosopher in deep thought! Well, I guess that picture is sufficient to fill you with warmth, fondness and a strong desire to cuddle a marmoset with your own hands! That being said, here's those facts I've been promising you since the beginning of this article.
► The Atlantic marmoset genus is further classified into six species (common marmoset, Wied's marmoset, buffy-headed marmoset, buffy-tufted marmoset, black-tufted marmoset and white-headed marmoset).
The Amazonian marmoset genus is further classified into fourteen species (Rondon's marmoset, Rio Acari marmoset, Satéré marmoset, Manicore marmoset, Hershkovitz's marmoset, Silvery marmoset, gold-and-white marmoset, white marmoset, Maués marmoset, Emilia's marmoset, Santarem marmoset, black-headed marmoset, black-tailed marmoset and Marca's marmoset) while the Roosmalens' Dwarf Marmoset genus and the Pygmy Marmoset genus have one species each (with same names as their respective genus).
► Male marmosets reach sexual maturity one year after birth while females may become sexually active on becoming 20-24 months old. Marmosets are mostly monogamous and females give birth to twins after gestation, though triplets and quadruplets are also not uncommon.
► In their natural, wild surroundings, the lifespan of marmosets is known to be about 10 years on an average. In captivity, marmosets are known to have lived for as long as 16 years.
► The most important aspect of marmoset care, other than paying attention to its feeding, lodging and hygiene needs, is to make sure it is never kept isolated. These are extremely social animals and isolation drives them to exhibit signs of depression, irritability and aggression.
► In a typical marmoset society, the responsibility of youngsters is shared by the father and other group members. Things like carrying, sharing food, looking out for predators and keeping an eye on the young marmosets is taken care of by various members of a troop of marmosets. This system is known as cooperative rearing where the mother, after giving birth to twins (which is the usual marmoset birth scenario), is not the only one to take care of them.
► One of the most peculiar things about marmoset breeding is that there can be only one dominant female in a given breeding season and for that season, she alone can ovulate and mate. The dominant female even prevents other females from ovulating that season by engaging in intimidating behavior such as poking, staring and dominating and, also, by releasing pheromones in huge quantities.
Those were some very interesting facts about marmosets. When in the wild, these tiny primates maintain a highly intricate and close-knit social structure. Food is often shared cooperatively and some playful theft of food is also tolerated with good humor. Each group is very particular about its territory and the boundaries are marked by scent. Before taking your leave, I would also like to share another interesting fact about the marmoset - the Pygmy marmoset is the smallest monkey in the entire world!