Pygmy Marmoset: Cutest Animal Ever?

Wendy Redal December 16, 2010 8

Pygmy marmoset babies

I confess I didn’t know a lot about the pygmy marmoset when I came across this endearing photo. But it piqued my curiosity enough to learn a few things about them, including where I might find one of these adorable creatures in the wild.  Here are five fun facts I discovered about the little critter also called mono de bolsillo, or “pocket monkey”:

* Pygmy marmosets live in the rainforests of South America

* The pygmy marmoset is the smallest true monkey, 5-6 inches long (without the tail) and weighing less than 5 ounces

* They feed on tree sap, using sharp incisors to gnaw through the bark

* Though tiny, pygmy marmosets can jump 16 feet!

* Females always give birth to twins, who are nurtured by the whole family group of 2-6 individuals, including always being fed first

marmoset baby

Mama pygmy marmoset with baby. Photo credit:

While I can’t guarantee you’ll see a minuscule pygmy marmoset swinging through the trees of the jungle — in fact, you probably won’t, as they tend to stay in the highest reaches of the canopy —  you’ll likely see other fascinating primates like capuchins and howler monkeys on an eco-adventure into the Upper Amazon rainforest of Peru or Ecuador. Pygmy marmosets are also found in the rainforests of northern Bolivia and  western Brazil.

Pygmy Marmoset

Golden Lion Tamarin. Photo Credit:

Another diminutive primate you’ll find in Brazil – endemic only to the lowland Atlantic rainforest outside Rio — is the golden lion tamarin.  While their faces are more wizened than the charming pygmy marmoset’s (or perhaps charm is in the eye of the beholder), they are certainly endearing.  A highlight of Nat Hab’s Brazil trip is a visit to the Golden Lion Tamarin Conservation Project, for interactions with these endangered small primates.

Any other animals you’d nominate for world’s cutest? How about a baby sloth? We’d love to hear which ones tickle your heartstrings!

Happy travels among the world’s wild wonders,


P.S. While you can see pygmy marmosets at various zoos, you can also get your own plush version to cuddle when you “adopt” the species through World Wildlife Fund. What a fun holiday gift idea for a little person in your life!


  1. Elisabeth Clancy November 21, 2013 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    I would like to find a book about Pygmy Marmosetsthe care and raising.I’ve got plans to get one from a breeder that has been breeding them for 30 years.I would never buy any animal from a poacher or even a puppy from a puppy mill.My reason is to study her and work with her.I plan to record and document all and everything in her life.I am also going to work with her full time to see how much she will learn.Through learning baby toys and even baby sign language.I will be 100% devoted to her.This has been my plans for a long time and have done lots of studying on them.I’m always looking for more information to help with my journey.
    Elisabeth Clancy

  2. Iordana Ferent September 22, 2012 at 2:21 am - Reply

    Watching Travel Channel I watched these mini-monkeys for the first time in my life. They are adorable! Nature is amazing! So, watching marmosets, I have found you. You are adorable, too!

  3. Siusi Cor May 27, 2012 at 7:31 am - Reply

    é horrível imaginar alguém comprando um mico, que é um ser vivo e merece respeito.

  4. Maggie w December 30, 2011 at 11:40 am - Reply

    I LOVE Pygmy monkeys there so cute .I wish that poachers would stop killing the Pygmy monkey species.

  5. Lily T. December 27, 2011 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Wow, these animals are ADORABLE! I really wish people did not take advantage of their charm and try to sell them as pets. It really hurts their species because they need to breed in order for their population to expand, and if they don’t breed, then their population decreases. It may seem like a small change at first, but after a while, it can have devastating effects. By the way, thanks for the pictures.

  6. Kara s. April 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    Can you have these as pets?

  7. Marsha Reed December 17, 2010 at 11:27 am - Reply

    they are ADORABLE. I wish you wouldnt 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.

  8. Tom Valiente December 17, 2010 at 9:28 am - Reply

    I actually saw a Pygmy Marmoset at the Bronx Zoo in 1974 ( I was 13). I also know that the Pygmy Marmoset is a competitor for the title of worlds smallest mammal. the other contenders are the Etruscan Pygmy shrew and the Hog Nosed or Bumblebee bat.

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