Can Pygmy Marmosets Be Pets? (Lifespan, Size and Legal Info)


Can Pygmy Marmosets Be Pets

Admittedly the smallest monkey species you can come across, the pygmy marmoset is an exciting sight. Cute and lovable, but barely the size of your thumb, you may have been curious if you can take one of these monkeys as pet.

Pygmy marmosets are excellent pets. Many people point to the aggression in male pygmy marmosets as reason not keep them as pets. But if you are diligent, loving, and patient in taking care of this monkey, you would end up with a very loyal and exciting companion for over a decade.

No doubt, there is so much to know about this curious primate crowned the smallest of monkeys. How big and heavy does it get actually? How long does it live? Also, what does it eat? Stick around as we take you through the answers to these interesting queries.

Are Pygmy Marmosets Good Pets?

Don’t mistake their diminutive size for being boring; pygmy marmosets are fun to have around. They are energetic, emotionally sensitive, and intelligent. They can jump many times their heights (even as high as 15 feet into the air) and have a thrilling capacity to rotate their heads through 180 degrees.

Agreed, these little darlings need a lot of attention, and you may have to reconsider their acquisition if you don’t have sufficient time to care for them. For the 90% of the time they are awake, they need to be mentally stimulated.

Consequently, when they feel neglected, they can throw tantrums and even amusingly scratch their hair just to get you to notice them. They love to investigate new things a lot and are avid climbers, needing sufficient vertical clearance in their cages.

Also, take note that these animals are very social. It is advisable to buy them in pairs to be social partners, especially when you wouldn’t be sparing them a lot of your time.

Overall, while pygmy marmosets can be fantastic pets, it is essential to be prepared emotionally and financially to commit to this pet for at least ten years before you buy it.

What States Can You Own a Pygmy Marmoset in the U.S.?

What many intending marmoset owners may not know is that it is not legal in all American states to keep pygmy marmosets as pets. While pro-animals groups are pushing to get more states to withdraw prohibitions for keeping marmosets, only 17 American states (as of 2012) legally allow you to keep marmosets as pets.

These states include Iowa, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Nebraska, Missouri, Virginia, Illinois, Nevada, Washington, Ohio, North Dakota, South and North Carolina, Montana, Kansas, and Arkansas.

Aside from these states, some American states don’t have absolute prohibitions on keeping marmosets as pets. States like Mississippi, Arizona, Tennessee, and Indiana, only have partial restrictions (instead of outright bans) on keeping marmosets as pets.

How Big Does a Pygmy Marmoset Get?

As said, there are no monkey species more petite than the pygmy marmoset, crowning them as the smallest primates on Earth. The finger marmoset has a length (adding the body and head) of about 4.6-6.0 in.

Its tail is more extended, ranging from 6.8-9.0 in. As to how heavy they get, pygmy marmosets have an average weight of about 100 grams.

How Long Does a Pygmy Marmoset Live?

For an animal so small, it is impressive to note that a pygmy marmoset can live as long as 20 years if properly cared for. On the lower margin, they can live up to 15 years.

What Does a Pygmy Marmoset Eat?

In the wild, pygmy marmosets are versatile eaters. The predominant chunk of their day is expended on searching for food to eat. They could either be extracting gum from tree barks by digging in their specially adapted teeth or just catching insects.

These monkeys also fancy fruits and are adept at fetching them. Amusingly, the pygmy marmoset can hang upside down to get fruits when necessary.

Well, pygmy marmosets kept as pets may not be as skillful as their wild counterparts when fetching food. Nonetheless, they can be very picky with their choice of food.

You can feed your pet marmoset dry pellets enhanced with any dried and fresh fruits, nuts, veggies, animal protein (like boiled eggs, mealworms, or insects).

Take note that these monkeys must have water readily within their reach. Given their preference for heights (where they feel at home and safer), it is better to elevate their feeding dishes some meters from the ground.

Still on dieting, pet marmosets would need to be supplied with dietary supplements. This is critical to reducing their susceptibility to metabolic bone disorders. Vitamin D3 is one of such supplements that come to mind here.

How Much Does a Pygmy Marmoset Cost?

Pygmy marmosets are exotic acquisitions. Just one of these monkeys can set you back as much as $4,000. You would be getting an incredible bargain if you can get one pygmy marmoset for $1,000.

Do Pygmy Marmosets Throw Poop?

There is a common misconception that pygmy marmosets readily throw their poop. This is incorrect. Pygmy marmosets only throw their poop when they are remarkably angry or agitated. What more, with good training, you can get them to unlearn that habit.

Do Marmosets Carry Diseases?

Health must be top of your mind when keeping pygmy marmosets as pets. These monkeys are relatively more prone to viral pathogens. These pathogens can stay latent in them sustainably, with interspecies transmission possibly leading to severe infection.

Do Pygmy Marmosets Make Noise?

Pygmy marmosets, despite being generally perceived as docile, can be very vocal. Being social, they make noises when communicating discrete messages (like a need for urgency, calling out danger, need for help) to each other.

This can be in chatters, squeaks, or high-pitch tones. Pygmy marmosets are also known to scream when irritated.

How High Can a Pygmy Marmoset Jump?

The pygmy marmoset ranks among the top 10 monkeys in jumping heights. These monkey species can jump as high as 16 feet into the air despite their body length being as small as 6 inches.

For context, such a 16-feet jumping feat is no less remarkable than a 6-foot tall man jumping 200 feet into the air!

Which Animals Eat Pygmy Marmoset?

You may think that the significantly reduced size of the pygmy marmoset would make it less enticing to predators, but you couldn’t be wronger.

This monkey yet remains a cherished delicacy for predators like hawks, eagles, ocelots, and even snakes. The harpy eagle is particularly keen on hunting pygmy marmosets.

That these marmosets prefer to stay up trees increases their susceptibility to hawks, eagles, and other aerial predators. Adroit climbing reptiles like the pit viper can also prey on these marmosets while on such trees.

Can You Have a Pygmy Marmoset as a Pet in the U.K.?

There are no prohibitions in the U.K. against procuring pygmy marmosets as pets.

Is Pygmy Marmoset Legal in India?

Yes, it is legal. However, Indian authorities are placing restrictions on the importation of pygmy marmosets.

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