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What Are the Different Species of Marmoset?

By B. Koch
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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Marmosets are a type of small primate in the family Callitrichidae. Native exclusively to South America, there are many different types of marmosets. Common marmosets, pigmy marmosets, as well as white eared marmosets are just some examples of different species. Tamarins are another type of marmoset.

There are a number of different species of marmoset, but all these primates are small, and many species have tufted ears and clawed or claw-like nails. They all have long tails, none of which are prehensile, which means they do not use their tails to grip tree branches, as some monkeys do. They reside in treetops and eat fruits as well as insects, and are native exclusively to South America. All these animal's diets are similar, which includes high amounts of saps and gums from trees, which they acquire by gnawing holes in trees with their specialized incisors. They also consume fruits and insects.

The common marmoset is perhaps the type of marmoset most easily recognizable. They typically weigh 10 to 17 ounces (300 to 500 grams), and are between 6 to 7 inches (14 to 19 centimeters) tall, not including their tail. Their fur may be black or gray, with white ears. The tails of common marmosets are distinctive because they are striped with rings of alternating light and dark fur.

It is not unusual for marmosets to have tufts of fur around their ears. The common marmoset has ear tufts, as does the white eared marmoset, which has dark colored fur with white tufts of longer fur around its ears. White eared marmosets range in size from 9.3 to 11 ounces (260 to 320 grams). These primates are found only in Brazil, especially in coastal forests on the southeast coast off that country. These types of marmosets are considered endangered.

The smallest type of marmoset is known as the pygmy marmoset, which is generally only 13-14 inches (33-35 centimeters) long, including the length of their tails, and usually weight only 4 ounces (113 grams). Their fur can range from yellow to brown, sometimes with black flecks, yet the fur on their bellies may be a lighter color of yellow or even white.

Tamarins are another member of the Callitrichidae family, and are considered to be a type of marmoset. There are a number of different subspecies of tamarins, but one notable species is the lion tamarin. They are named as such because of the bushy fur around their faces reminiscent of a lion’s mane. Their fur may range from a stunning orange or yellow color to grey or black, depending on the species.

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