Common Marmoset

Callithrix jacchus

Common marmosets live in the scrub forest and Atlantic forest of north eastern Brazil.

Marmosets and tamarins are distinguished from the other New World monkeys by their small size, modified claws, fewer molar teeth and by the occurrence of twin births.

Common marmosets are gum-feeding specialists, using gouging lower incisors to excavate holes in gum-producing trees to guarantee gum year-round. Once a wound to a tree has been inflicted, the monkeys lick or scoop out the exudates with their teeth. They also feed on fruits, flowers, nectar and invertebrates.

Common marmosets live in extended family groups, with an average size of 8-10 individuals. Each group usually contains only one breeding pair. This in the highest ranking male and female, who produce non-identical twins twice a year. The breeding adults in the group depend on the cooperation of their adult siblings and offspring to care for their new infants to ensure their survival.

Like all primates, vocal and visual communication is important to common marmosets. Facial expressions and vocalizations convey information about social status, emotional state, and intent to other individuals in the troop.

Common marmosets are classified by the IUCN Red List as Least Concern. There are no major threats to common marmosets in the wild at the moment. They are relatively widely distributed and are very adaptable. Populations that have been introduced into areas outside of their natural range may compete with and displace other (native) callitrichids. The wild population is beginning to decline, mostly due to habitat loss and pressures from the pet trade, however, this is not enough to lead to a “Threatened” listing.

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HABITAT

Common marmosets live in the scrub forest and Atlantic forest of north eastern Brazil.

DIET

The common marmoset is a gum-feeding specialist, as well as fruits, flowers, nectar and invertebrates.

THREATS

Although widespread and successful, habitat loss and harvesting for the pet trade are causing a decline in the wild population.

CONSERVATION

LEAST CONCERN

They are relatively widespread within their range, present in several protected areas and have no major threats.

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