November 07, 2007

pygmy marmoset - devilish looking animal

I think this is going to be a series of devil look like animals, in a previous post we saw the aye aye monkey (omg! how devilish it is!!) today let's see another monkey: the pygmy marmoset or scientifically: callithrix (Cebuella) pygmaea

despite its name, the pygmy marmoset is somewhat different from the typical marmosets classified in genus callithrix. as such, it is accorded its own subgenus, which was recognized as its own genus: cebuella. there are two subspecies of the pygmy marmoset: callithrix (cebuella) pygmaea pygmaea and callithrix (cebuella) pygmaea niveiventris.

it's native to the rainforest canopies of western brazil, southeastern colombia, eastern ecuador, and eastern peru. it is the smallest monkey and one of the smallest primates. Its body length - excluding the 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm) tail - ranges from 5.5 to 6.3 inches (14 to 16 cm). males weigh around 5 ounces (140 g), and females only 4.2 ounces (120 g).

twin pygmy marmosets, these animals are typically born in pairs (click to enlarge)

pygmy marmosets have tawny coat, ringed tails, sometimes as long as their body or longer and have specially adapted claws for climbing trees, a trait unique to the species.

they are omnivorous, feeding on fruit, leaves, insects, and even small reptiles sometimes. much of their diet, however, comes from tapping trees for sap. they spend up to two-thirds of their time gouging tree bark to reach the gummy sap; they have specialized incisors for gouging holes in bark.

unfortunately, they are very hard to observe in the wild because of their small size, and swift movements. in captivity, the pygmy marmoset can live up to 11 years.

two baby pygmy marmoset shortly after their birth at the frösö zoo in ostersund, sweden, exceedingly rare pair because they're albinos (deficient in pigment). as the national geographic article says, they are "resembling nothing so much as chewbacca's children" (click on the image to enlarge)

what about watching the pygmy marmoset in motion now? newquay zoo in cornwall, uk posted the first video below on youtube & asked people suggest names for two baby marmosets born there.

the second video was posted on august 1st after the twins were named; the keepers though have picked names that came from emails sent to the zoo & not from youtubers suggestions (a total of 104 names was suggested) ... oh! want to know how they were named? yes .. twiglet & alfonso :)

I hope you have some relaxing moments watching the two short nature videos ... personally I did :)