Interesting facts about finger monkey and some cute photos of them
One for the Guinness Book of Records, a monkey the size of a human finger! Yes, you read it right. The name of this primate – Finger Monkey. There are also two alternative names of this kind – “a pocket monkey” and “a tiny lion”. Looking at their photos, we understand why this creature has such a name. Indeed, they look too adorable to resist when they hold one of your fingers when you try to caress them. [cuteness overload]
B1: Hey brother, how do you feel? Are you alright? B2: Not so well. I think Gulliver is tightening his grip on me.
Warning! Don’t be deceived by finger monkeys’ cuteness! If provoked, they will counter by using their extremely sharp claws on you.
Enough of the introduction, it’s about time to present these tiny but mighty finger monkeys.
Description of the kind
These apes belong to the family of Callitrichidae, species Cebuella, gender C. pygmaea. Cebuella pygmaea from Latin means a tiny marmoset or a pygmy marmoset. A size of an adult monkey achieves only from 4.3 to 5.9 inches [oh, it’s the size of my hand!], let alone a tail from 7 to 9 inches long. As a rule, male’s body is longer. The maximum weight of a male is 5 ounces, and of a female is 3-4 ounces. [it’s just like an average apple or a small orange]
Finger monkey has almond-shaped eyes and a furry body. It has a mixed coloration: grey, brown, golden and black. Its belly and paws are beige and orange. A tail has black rings that are specific for this kind only; there are also white stripes on their head. This kind has a mane like a lion does, thus it explains one of its names.
Teeth and small claws of Cebuella pygmaea are very sharp. The small paws help to climb on tops of trees and spring from one tree to another one. [I bet I would be awestruck to hear that]
Thanks to the strong legs, marmosets can cover up to two meters high.
They sleep in tree hollows. The sounds, which pygmy marmosets give out, resemble birds singing. Talking to each other, monkeys chirp fast like birds and twitter, whistle, and shriek in fear.
Life span and habitat
The marmoset’s life span is about 10-15 years. However, in captivity their life can last 25 years thanks to the right care and rational nutrition.
A natural habitat of the finger monkey is forests of Amazon, Peru, Ecuador or Columbia. In a word, the animals prefer wet and warm climate. They live in trees and rarely come down.
The finger monkey is an omnivorous. A natural habitat of the finger monkey is represented by thick trees with crowns full of insects: bugs, spiders, butterflies, and grasshoppers. Thus, they are the main diet for these animals. The strongest and bravest species eat bigger animals: frogs, snails or lizards, but it needs to come down for that purpose. They don’t mind eggs of small birds if they can find them in tree crowns. In addition, finger monkeys drink tree sap and eat tree gum biting into tree bark with their sharp incisors in order to get some. They can also eat nectar and fleshy fruit.
Tiny marmosets drink a lot of fresh water that they find on shoots or flowers. Vitally important vitamins for finger monkeys are A and D3. They got them from the sun or plants that they eat. From tree gum, they got calcium, which is another important mineral for them.
In a natural habitat, a finger monkey has a schedule that is similar to a human child’s one and is as follows:
- Morning: getting up and having breakfast during the first 30-90 minutes.
- Time for playing and resting.
- Lunch: Eating insects.
- Day: Afternoon rest, self-care, playing.
- Having a snack.
- Having dinner.
- Returning to the roost.
[I start feeling like being a finger monkey in my next life]
Way of life
Cebuella pygmaea are social animals. The main part of population lives in a troop. A troop of tiny marmosets has up to 6-9 animals. As a rule, it consists of a male, a female and monkey cubs. A few generations may live in one troop, but there is only one dominant male in each troop. Strangers are not welcome – the leader proves domination in fighting. [I wish I could see such a fight of these mighty creatures]
A territory spreads over 0,5 ha2 for one family. As the resources are depleted, finger monkeys move to other areas. Two troops never live within one place.
Members of a troop talk to each other. Marmosets exchange information through whistle, gnashing, trills and through visual signals. The signal depends on a type of a transmitted message. For example, a loud scream means danger.
A female has freedom of choosing a partner or even more than one (polyandry). An estrous cycle repeats each 27-28 days. During an estrus the female lifts the tail and shows the genitals. [need to remember this style] The male answers with snorting and licks the vulva. During this period the male follows the female slowly 0,5-1,5 meters at a distance, cuddling branches, imitating all her moves. Such behavior strengthens the libido. The dominant male tries not to let other males mate with his female. Mating happens at any time and in any place. On the third month of pregnancy, the female becomes aggressive to other members of the group. A breeding season may take place at any time of a year; peaks of birth happen in May-June and October-January. Puberty: by 15-18 months. Pregnancy: lasts 135-146 days.
A female bears children once a year (rarely twice a year). As a rule, two monkey cubs are born at once. Only an elder female of a family may reproduce. Upbringing is the function of all members of the troop. As a rule, one baby may be brought up by 5 adults. The reason lies in spending the most time on a father’s back or on the back of another member of the family. Such solution is due to necessity of protection against predators (snakes, birds, cats). However, only 67% of newborn monkey cubs survive.
The prioritized concern of a mother is breastfeeding; a father and younger females solve other care issues. Offspring of finger monkeys differ from parents. Their body is coloured in yellow, and on the back, there is a black mark. The head of a newborn monkey cub is grey and they have fur around their ears. In a month after their birth, monkey cubs molt. Then they get their parent’s colour.
Life in captivity
Finger monkeys adapt in captivity better than other apes kinds. They lead an active lifestyle and are keen on playing. Such marmosets need to be fed with fruit, vegetables, insects, and chicken. You can use infant formulas as dietary supplement for them. Pet shops may have lizards and snails, which finger monkeys find delicious. This kind of monkeys should be kept in a cage or an aviary with lots of snags, lianas, plants. The size of the cage should be big enough for the animal to run and move freely. It is necessary to equip it with a hollow or a special house as monkeys will not sleep in a cage. You don’t have to create special conditions for breeding. They can breed well if they have the second half. However, they might get depressed living without one. When buying, you should pay attention to the breath and skin condition of a finger monkey. They should not have any wheezing or cough. A healthy finger monkey’s fur is smooth, without bald spots and boils.
This kind of apes is not on the edge of extinction. Nevertheless, many finger monkeys die from predation. In addition, people catch them for black-market sale no matter whether it is an adult or a cub. Deforestation also has a negative effect on pygmy marmosets’ number. Reduction of living space causes population reduction as such animals can breed only if a troop has its own territory.
Now I see more problems coming our way. The Boss wanted us to be the main course in their Exotic Food Festival.