Do Marmoset Monkeys Make Good Pets?
It’s rare to see a human with a pet monkey, but when we do, we think,” Wow! How lucky are they?” Marmoset monkeys, also called finger monkeys, are tiny animals that are almost too cute to resist. Even though owning an exotic pet seems like a fun idea, the amount of work that goes into taking care of these animals isn’t ideal for most people. While it is possible to keep a marmoset as a pet, it isn’t something that we, or most monkey experts, would advise.
What are Marmoset Monkeys?
Marmosets are the littlest monkey species in the world. They live in the wild in countries including Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Brazil where they spend their days high in the treetops of lush rainforests. Adults are only 4 to 6 inches long, and this doesn’t include their lengthy tails that stretch an additional 6 to 9 inches. The female marmosets are usually larger than the males, and their offspring and so small that they can cling their whole body against a human finger. Of course, their tiny size has given them nicknames like the pocket monkey, thumb monkey, and little lion. Marmosets are facing severe habitat destructions and, although they aren’t endangered just yet, they could be on their way if they run out of ways to adapt.
Life as a Marmoset Monkey
Most monkeys are social creatures, and the marmoset isn’t any different. They live in small groups and the females are able to give birth twice a year. Most mothers give birth to a set of twins, but single or triplet births are possible as well. The males play a major role in the raising of their children. Offspring are carried around by the fathers for the first two weeks of life and often receive help from other juvenile monkeys in the group.
Marmoset monkeys live between 12 to 16 years in the wild, though their lifespan can reach up to 22 years in captivity. Wild marmosets lose their lives more quickly, mainly from falling from high trees. They have sharp, long nails to help them cling to branches and narrow teeth that help them feed on sap from trees or small insects and fruits. One unique characteristic they have is the ability to rotate their heads 180 degrees while scanning for predators like cats and snakes. They can also leap up to 16 feet to help escape attacks. They are mostly active during the day and spend a good amount of their time playing with other group members, foraging for food, and grooming themselves.