Common marmoset

(Callithrix jacchus)

Range and habitat
Common marmosets mainly live in trees. Using their claws, they can move quickly through the dense rainforest in Brazil. They are so well adapted to their environment that they hardly ever come down from the trees. Even though they mainly live in dense rainforests, they are regularly spotted in urban parks and gardens. They can adapt quickly, which enables them to survive outside their natural habitat.

The animals have distinctive white tufts on their ears. They are among the smallest ape species and weigh about the same as a packet of butter. Males and females are about the same size. Their black and white striped tail is up to one and a half times as long as their body. Common marmosets are members of the callitrichinae and can be recognised by their claw-like nails. The claws enable the animals to climb extremely well. In addition to sharp nails, they also have sharp curved canines.

Did you know?
  • The sound a common marmoset makes is similar to bird song
  • Length 16 - 21 cm, tail 29 - 35 cm.
  • Weight 320 grams
  • Lifespan ± 16 years
  • Range Northeast Brazil
  • Habitat Tropical rainforests

During her fertile period, a female mates with several males. After an average gestation period of 148 days, common marmosets usually give birth to identical twins or even triplets. In addition to the father, other family members also bear responsibility for the young. For example, teaching the young how to become good parents and carers in the future.

The animals prefer to eat gum from trees, fruit, seeds, flowers, nectar, eggs, small lizards and insects.

Behaviour and habits
A family of common marmosets consists of two to thirteen monkeys. There is often one female in particular that cares of offspring. The father soon takes over the mother’s care so that the mother can rest. Other animals in the group also help. During the first four weeks, young are continuously carried by the father and other animals and are only given back to the mother for feeding.