The finger monkey is one of the tiniest living primates in the world. Otherwise known as pygmy marmosets, these tiny monkeys are now raised as exotic pets.
Pygmy marmosets/finger monkeys are the world’s tiniest actual monkeys. A fully grown finger monkey weighs approximately 4 – 5 ounces and extends to a maximum of 6 inches in length (excluding the tail)!
These lilliputian primates have their particular genus since they are different from the other marmosets. Their behaviour in natural surroundings is more exuberant than when they are held in captivity.
Finger Monkey Facts- Pygmy Marmoset Facts
1. What Is A Pygmy Marmoset – What Is A Finger Monkey
- The pygmy marmoset also called finger monkey and sometimes a pocket monkey, is one of the world’s smallest primates.
- In all the New World monkeys, the pygmy marmoset or finger monkey is the smallest species with only about 100 grams body weight.
- It is indigenous to South America, where it is found in the rainforests of the western Amazon Basin.
- The pygmy marmoset is a gumivore (eat gums of the woody plants) and is usually found in the evergreen riparian forests adjacent to the river.
2. What Does A Finger Monkey Look LikePygmy Marmoset
- They have a mixed fur colour with black, grey, and brownish-golden on the head and back, while the underparts have orange, yellow, yellowish-brown and orange-brown colours.
- They have white patches on the face and a white line perpendicular to both eyes.
- They have a long tail, usually longer than the length of their entire body and head, with black rings.
3. Pygmy Marmoset Behavior
- Pygmy marmosets are social and live in groups; the number of individuals ranges from 2 to 9.
- Most of the groups have one adult reproductive female, one or two adult males, and their offspring.
- The number of adults, subadults, and juvenile group members has a special positive relation.
- The female reproductive individual dominates the group and has feeding priority on the males who have less time for feeding and food searching.
- When an infant pygmy marmoset develops, it makes vocalizations or babbling about getting extra care from the family members.
4. Finger Monkey Family
- Pygmy marmoset belongs to the Callitrichidae family composed of New World monkeys like tamarins, lion tamarins, and marmosets.
- All the family members are arboreal (adapted for the locomotion in trees) and the smallest of the monkeys, who depend on the tree gums as a significant part of their diet.
- All the species of this family live in territorial groups, which range from 5 to 9 in number.
- The members of this family are also the only primates that produce twins regularly (approximately 80% of the births).
5. Scientific Name For Finger Monkey
- The scientific name of pygmy marmoset or finger monkey is Cebuella pygmaea.
6. Finger Monkey Characteristics
- The pygmy marmoset is one of the tiniest primates in the world, indigenous to South America’s rainforests.
- They eat gums and plant sap as a significant diet, due to which they have special upper teeth (incisors) for making holes in woody plants.
- Pygmy marmosets are social and live in groups of an average number of 5 to 6 individuals.
- They possess sexual dimorphism, and female individuals are slightly larger than males.
7. How Big Is A Pygmy Marmoset – Pygmy Marmoset Size Facts
- An adult pygmy marmoset has a total body length (head + body) from 12 to 15 cm with a bodyweight of approximately 100 grams.
- It is such a small monkey that it can easily be fit in the hand of an adult human.
8. How Much Does A Finger Monkey Weigh – Finger Monkey Weight Facts
- The body weight of an adult pygmy marmoset is up to 100 grams (0.22 pounds).
9. Pygmy Marmoset Lifespan – Finger Monkey Lifespan – Life Expectancy Of A Finger Monkey
- The average lifespan of a pygmy marmoset or finger monkey is up to 12 years.
- Their lifespan in the wild is 10 to 12 years.
- However, they live longer in captivity for about 16 to 20 years due to exceptional care, proper diet, and protection from natural threats.
10. What Do Pygmy Marmoset Monkeys Eat – Pygmy Marmoset Diet – Pygmy Marmoset Food Facts
- Pygmy marmoset eats a specific diet composed of tree gums and exudates (any matter that seeps out of plants like sap, gum, latex, and resin), and that is why it is called gumivore (gum eater).
- A pygmy marmoset also consumes some insects, particularly butterflies attracted by the gums and sap they eat.
- They also eat some fruits and nectars.
- In captivity, a pygmy marmoset is fed on the fruits, vegetables, boiled eggs, some insects like crickets, waxworms, mealworms, and a specific commercial diet given to the New World monkeys.
11. Finger Monkey Eating Facts
- A finger monkey or pygmy marmoset has special claws like that of the insects, known as tegulae, through which they exploit the plant exudate when they are clinging.
- When eating, they select an appropriate tree and then chew holes in the bark.
- They vines through their specially arranged teeth to draw out the gum production.
- When the juice pools up in the holes, they lick it with their tongues.
- They usually wait for a while so that the insects are attracted by the sap and eat it along with sap.
- The entire group of pygmy marmosets usually focus on only one or two trees and move to the other trees after their consumption.
It is not advisable to keep these monkeys as pets. Looking after a finger monkey can be an expensive affair. They need lots of attention. Like other primates, this monkey is not well-behaved initially; it has to be trained.
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