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
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.
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!