Known for their small size and brownish coats, common marmosets have become quite a fascination to many pet owners. These New World Monkeys live for around 12 years in the wild, clinging to trunks of trees in the thick forested areas of Brazil and Argentina. Independent out there, a domesticated life requires an owner’s undivided attention.
The body structure of marmosets are designed for an arboreal lifestyle, or a tree-adapted way of life, with average lengths of males reaching only up to 188 millimeters, while females fall short at 185 millimeters. Their primary food source comes from the tree’s excretion, which comprises 20 to 70% of their diet. Using sharp canine teeth, these small monkeys chew on various kinds of exudates like latex, gum and sap, while their claw-like fingers keep them from falling.
Inside the house, however, this exotic callitrichid primate pet lives in a child-like and pampered environment. Without any trees to get their food from, pygmy marmosets would have to be given with daily Vitamin C diet, on top of a recommended Zupreem base food and Mazuri biscuits. They also prefer sleeping in boxes surrounded by pillows, blankets, and stuffed toys, situated a few meters above ground.
Above are just a few essential differences in behavior of these South American primates when in their natural habitat and when inside the comforts of your home. The more you know about their special needs, the better you can care for them for longer.