Finger Monkey or Pygmy Marmosets
Finger monkeys, also known as pygmy marmosets, are small primates that belong to the family Callitrichidae.
These monkeys are native to the rainforests of South America, particularly found in the Amazon Basin.
Despite their name, finger monkeys are not monkeys, but rather a small specie of true primates while the mouse lemur is the smallest primate in the world.
Pygmy marmosets typically weigh around 100 to 150 grams and reach a length of about 14 to 16 centimeters, excluding their long tails, hence, the smallest monkey breed in the world.
They are called finger monkeys because they are so tiny that one can stand on your finger or play on your palm just the way you can place an insect on your hand.
Finger Monkey Lifestyle
Finger monkeys are highly social primates, and they live in groups consisting of an alpha male, an alpha female, and their offspring.
These groups usually consist of around 5 to 9 individuals, and they communicate with each other through a variety of vocalizations, scent marking, and body postures.
Finger monkeys can also communicate with other monkeys, and can be territorial.
In terms of their habitat, finger monkeys are arboreal creatures, meaning they spend most of their lives in the trees.
They have specialized adaptations that help them maneuver through the forest canopy.
Their long tails, for instance, act as balancing aids, allowing them to jump and leap between branches with ease.
Pygmy marmosets also have sharp claws that enable them to grip onto tree trunks and branches securely.
As regards their diet, finger monkeys primarily feed on a diet of tree sap, gum, fruits, insects, and nectar.
They have a unique feeding habit called “gummivory,” where they gnaw small holes in tree bark to access the sap.
They also have specialized teeth for gouging these holes. Their diet provides them with the necessary nutrients and energy to thrive in their natural environment.
How Long Do Finger Monkeys Live in the Wild?
When it comes to their lifespan, finger monkeys typically live for around 12 to 20 years in the wild.
While proper care, attention, and preservation from predators in captivity can make finger monkeys live longer than the average age of 14 years in the wild, finger monkeys may also not live more than 12 years in captives if their natural habitat, foods, and lifestyle can not be replicated.
It’s important to note that finger monkeys are protected species, and their ownership as pets is regulated in many countries to ensure their conservation and well-being.