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You Can Never Get Enough Marmoset

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"Gremlin" the marmoset in Las Vegas

"Gremlin" the marmoset in Las Vegas

One of Nature's most obscure yet captivating creatures

You can never get enough marmoset.

Marmosets are of the genus Callithrix of the New World Monkeys. They exhibit primitive features such as claws instead of nails (not very dangerous anyway) and tactile hairs on their wrists. And they don't have wisdom teeth that have to be pulled out. And their brains aren't very good.

Marmosets communicate by high-pitched tones, varying from chirps to loud, shrill whistles and screeches.

Marmosets live in forest canopies and eat the gum inside of tree branches. They are also big fruit eaters.

They also live in small family groups of a pair and their kids... so they are monogamous like we are (hopefully)! And they might be territorial but it's hard to tell because they're so cute. Twins are usually born but there have been triplets too. And the males are good dads usually, carrying the babies on their backs as they move around.



Random Facts About Marmosets

Most marmosets are only 20 inches long.

Marmosets smell, they use their scent glands for communication. This makes it possible to identify themselves to each other.

A marmoset's body temperature can change about 4 Celsius degrees a day.

Marmosets are even included in Shakespeare's "Tempest", when a character is instructed "how to snare the nimble marmoset." This is sad.

Trapping of marmosets from the wild is illegal; all types are considered threatened.

Father marmosets do most of the caring for babies.

Marmosets urinate and defecate on their paws so they have a better grip for climbing. This turns off many new marmoset owners.

Marmosets require a specialized diet and have high vitamin D3 requirements. Many marmoset owners don't know this and the poor monkeys die.

Marmosets will turn away from perceived threatening people or potential enemies, raise the tail and at the same time, raising up on the hind legs, present their genitalia to the object of their display.

Marmosets like to sleep in a box where they feel secure. They prefer to sleep high and like to have towels, blankets, and stuffed animals to snuggle up to. Most go to sleep at sunset.

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What do you think?

Gizmos mama on April 25, 2013:

Hi i just lost the joy of my life in an accident, I got Gizmo my pensillata marmoset when he was 6 weeks old and from the minute he arrived he was a joy. There was nothing he wasn't involved in, he played with my dogs ,stayed on our shoulders ,sat at the table and ate dinner with the family,he understood when we talked to him and would even answer back.he even slept in bed with us. He was turning a year old in a month when one day he was on top of a door in our home and my sister didn't see him and went to shut it , in that moment my whole life changed ,he was gone before i knew it. People tell me get over it it was only an animal but that's where they are wrong he was my child ,it might sound crazy but i never in my 30 years of life knew a greater love and i will miss him to the day we meet again. The point to my story is yes he was a wonderful pet and wouldn't trade the time we shared for anything in the world, but don't run out and get one so quick just cause their adorable for they are so delicate and small and the pain of losing one is a terrible thing. God bless you Gizmo mama loves you!

munchi's mommy on April 14, 2012:

hello.. my marmoset is two weeks old and i want to feed him a rich formula, any suggestions?

jakesmom on February 23, 2012:

Hello I've been having my marmoset for a lil over 2 years and I wouldn't know what to do if I ever had to get rid of him or anything to happen to him. Its hard caring for my marmoset but I love him (his name is jake). The urine smell is really bad I wash his diapers n little blankets he uses that has the scent on them everyday..I bathe him every 2 days so the smell is gone. He eats anything I give him that's sweet his favorites are bananas, applesauce, and yogurt. But I kno he needs healthier foods. what's the most important foods to give him?

ravensworld on December 09, 2011:

I have two ravens. african white necked ravens. They are very demanding and need special care and lots of attention. I am getting a marmoset in a month and I understand that it takes a lot of commitment. I already have had commitment and do a great job with my ravens and will with the marmoset as well. It takes a certain personality to be able to live with these types of animals. I believe that more couldn't deal with it than could. For instance i cannot sit down on my couch to rest and watch a show until my birds go to bed. I stand or sit where they are to watch them continualy and interact with them and continually clean and feed them. At times I have to put them in there room, aviary to keep up with cleaning due to them making a mess faster than Im able to clean it up. I then let them out again when I have a head start, lol. My ravens steal my things, they pickpocket my cash, they believe everything and everyplace is theres, not yours and they are bullys, sneaks, and if they were human I would have a restraining order out on them, lmao, lol. But i love my ravens with all my heart and they are so very interactive with you. they will not allow you to sit and do nothing. :) My son passed away two years ago at age 22 and the ravens do not let me lay down or sit down and go into a depression. We have a respect for each other. I respect my ravens on who and what they are, they respect me on who and what I am. Its mutual. The marmoset will be treated the same way. You have to respect them for them, there instincts, or there behaviour. They don't try to change you either. But myself and my ravens have both given up some freedoms to live our lives together but both our lives are enriched because of it. I have ten wooded acres and my ravens stay close but can go anywhere they like. we play there for hours, all day. Its remote and all wooded. The marmoset will have the same thing. I also understand the nature of a raven and marmoset together. They are actually completely different but yet a lot alike in many ways.

If you like to decorate or gross out at having an animal poop or pee on your kitchen table, counters, couch floor etc quite often and you do not put out anything that will be knocked down, broken stolen and hid, etc and you do not have small children living with you then mabey you could deal with it. Lets be honest and look at marmoset ownership head on. At maturity they will bite. If not then you are the very lucky one. You cannot put your children in harms way of a nasty bite. You just cant do that. That's putting it above importance to your children and there saftey. Wait until your children are grown. I have to be very careful with my ravens with my grandchildren when they come over to visit. They are wild animals with instincts that YOU WILL NOT love or train out of them. It will not work, and respect them for who they are and what they are. It is in them and doesn't even have to be taught by others of the same species. Believe me its born into them, not learned by there parents or siblings. Its amazing to see, it really is. Do I mind getting bit by a marm. No. The raven and marm are both very territorial and they both have hiearchys within there groups and will test you as leader, alpha on a daily basis. You have to watch them and learn there body and vocal behaviours, not your human response. They will not understand that human response. When my raven is on a no no spot, i move my body into her and she yeilds and moves. That is dominance. When she bites me or usually pecks me and makes her iritated sound I respond by standing over her, no blinking, stare straight into her eyes, and take my fingers on my right hand and envelope her beak and head. She then starts the submissive eyes white blinking and stands very still and lets you kiss her face. she doesn't do it again for a while. Its an ongoing thing. I will learn quickly from my marm what response he will understand quickly after getting him. Its allways good to watch video of them in the wild or in groups to watch how the dominant one behaves and actions it takes to keep her/his status and repeat that with your marm. Do I care what others think when I talk to my raven in raven language or behaviour? No. Its a different world and we need to give 50% back in adjusting to there world since they are adjusting to ours. Again it is called mutual respect. mutual give and take. Never, ever show or feel fear with them, they can sense it immed. Never back down when they challenge you.You do not loose your temper, it is more of a no fear, YOU WILL NOT BEHAVE THAT way, unexceptable, inner strenght energy that you must have! You can not fake it! They know right away. No anger needed, just an attitude that you will not back down and no dought that YOU WILL WIN THE challenge. It a marm bites you you do not retreat! Suck up the pain and damage and don't back down. You have to contol the situation no matter what. The submissive one backs down and retreats, so you must not be that one. They will try you often. That's fine its just part of being in a marm or ravens life. Welcome to the jungle and the hard lessons that wild animals live. Its not the suburbs. Get ready to enter there world. Gotta luv em!!!

cutiepye on November 13, 2011:

I would have to agree it takes a lot of responsibility to own one mine is cute as can be but does have his moments of biteting when hes on ma shoulder and I wanna get him down stil sumting im still trying to find out y

Moon Daisy from London on October 07, 2011:

They are so gorgeous! I'd love a monkey as a pet, but then I say that about most animals I see... The albino pygmy marmoset from Froso Zoo looks just like a tiny baby Wookie. Don't you think?

A really lovely hub.

Veronica on September 20, 2011:

I have one and love him, if you decide to adopt one. Consider spend most of your free time with them... Is like having a baby for life, my own get along with my toy poodle, they chase each other and keep busy while i'm doing things.... They are lovevly......

leed on September 04, 2011:

dogs were once wild animals :P yet however we trained and bred them into a domestic therefore why cant we do the same with monkeys..bleh to you people who are oh so negative XP

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on March 06, 2011:

Thank you so much for your comments, Monkeymom! I think they're adorable, but I certainly couldn't imagine having one myself... I'll stick to my cats :)

Monkeymom on March 03, 2011:

I really really DO NOT recommend having one as a pet. I live with one now, but only because he needed a home after his first home did not work out and I agreed to take him from the breeder (friend of a friend) when no one else would.

These are wild animals. They belong in the wild.

Just what it takes to make sure they get a balanced diet ALONE is difficult (if you don't, they could get a wasting disease and die), not to mention cleaning up after them (their urine is STRONG, think stronger ferret musk). Oh yeah, also, colds, the flu, chicken pox and a whole host of other things WILL kill them. Not make them sick, KILL them. Further proof that after generations of being "domesticated" they have not been immunized to our most simple of diseases and living among us.

They are very high maintenance and can live up to 20yrs in captivity if properly cared for and not many people are willing to commit to that level of support. It's like having a demanding, often temper-throwing (sometimes even with their primary care-giver, almost always with others) tiny toddler...only they never grow up and they are never for one minute self-sufficient (even dogs will go take naps without whining and barking for attention).

Don't get me wrong, there are moments when they can be very sweet, and every one of them has a different personality, but as a whole they are NOT meant to be pets.

Did I mention the high-pitched screeching? It's like a dog-whistle and some will do it every time you leave them alone in a room and not stop until you come back in. Even if other people are with them. Yeah, that.

Just because you can afford to buy a Polar Bear and have enough room in your back yard, doesn't mean you should go out and get one...same principal, smaller threat.

If you are still thinking about it, for the love of all that is holy, do your research.

lynsey on February 15, 2011:

Hi I've been thinking about getting a marmoset for awhile nor. I'd love to talk to someone who lives with one. My email is

Missie on December 06, 2010:

I got two of those little guys and love them dearly. I will not recommend them as pets. They get mood swings and bite me on several occasions for no reason.

large beach towels on August 17, 2010:

I agree with you Tammy they are cute. Unfortunately you can't (hard to) get as pets in the UK.

Tammy on June 12, 2010:

i think marmosets are just the cuttiest little monkeys. I live in Florida and marmosets are one of the popular animals that people have as pets. A lot of Bird Breeders also breed marmosets.

Kobus on May 26, 2010:

I am so sad. My 7 weeks old marmoset monkey tried to force himself threw the cage and squashed his legs but didn’t brake anything. Now he is paralyzes from the waist down. The vet is giving him a lot of injections and hopefully he might start using his legs soon. If not then I need to send my baby to god ? If anyone knows what I can do next please mail me

Angela Michelle Schultz from United States on May 14, 2010:

Very informative hub. :)

Ingenira on April 30, 2010:

they are so cute, wish I can see a real one !

hey on April 14, 2010:

hey wats up internet?

Seen On TV on March 21, 2010:

I like how they are so cute and so ugly at the same time. It's like the Gremlins. I had a chance to see a few in South America and they were amazing to watch. Great Hub

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on February 28, 2010:

Thanks for your insight, CC... I don't think I'd personally keep one as a pet, but I love to look at them :)

CC on February 22, 2010:

I do not recommend these little guys as pets. I own one myself and as much as I love him to pieces I am the only one who can handle him. He was great with people till he hit sexual maturity. Then he attcked my husband who lost part of his nose in the fight. He has never been given the opportunity after that day to hurt anyone else. He has to be in a large cage when I am at work and only gets out when I am home. I hate it but I can't have him hurting anyone. I have had to change my life to accommodate my marmoset.

Aetopus on October 28, 2009:

I totally agree with Arnied. I saw a few youtube videos about marmosets and many now live within concrete walls and slabs of wood instead of the wild. I could not help feeling sadness and compassion for these beautiful creatures trapped in zoos. I feel the same about birds in cages (that belong to the sky) and fish in aquariums. These trapped animals represent $$ to poachers and to those who display them in their zoos only feed the human greed machine.

roberta agius on September 15, 2009:

is it true you can gt aids from marmosets ?

Hettie on August 13, 2009:

Hello, if there afrikaans of Caring for pt marmoet and tamarin monkeys? I need afrikaans book. Please help my. Thank you. Hettie from South Africa(sms 0834473145)

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on January 27, 2009:

Thanks everyone for your comments about this adorable animal! Arnieds, you're totally right... I wouldn't advocate keeping this guys for pets, but they are just so cute to look at!

Arnieds on January 27, 2009:

I don't mean to rain on the parade, but you can't have one as a pet and help them at the same time. They are not domesticated animals, so if you want to help them, you need to protect their natural habitat, which means supporting ecological reserves and the human social and economic development necessary to support those reserves. All that buying pets does is make poachers rich and encourage more people to get into that lucrative business, which means more dead marmosets.

Nicoletta. on June 19, 2008:

Monkey's make amazing animal's. Esepically Masmoset's because they are very smart &+ social. They are very cute to. :] Any more information about raising them; Can you please contact me at

moonlake from America on March 20, 2008:

Their so cute. Enjoyed your hub and information. I love the way they look but would never have one for a pet. I'll always take in any kind of animal that needs a home but to buy a monkey I wouldn't do it.

Joshua on January 05, 2008:

This is just my opinion, but MONKEYS SHOULD NOT BE PETS! Especially monkeys that are considered threatened in the wild!

Dogs and cats have been domesticated for tens of thousands of years, that's why they make such good pets. Marmosets and other primates are WILD animals, it is morally reprehensible to think of a wild animal as a pet.

Again, that's just my opinion.

Robin Edmondson from San Francisco on October 19, 2006:

My daughter liked the the pic from daily mail the best. She thought they looked like pandas. She thought the one from looked like a spooky skeleton. I'm having a hard time getting her off your page. ;)

marmosetfan on October 19, 2006:

check out marmoset, one of indiana's finest indie bands:

Robin Edmondson from San Francisco on October 18, 2006:

Thanks for the great information! I have seen these monkeys before but didn't know their name. I'll show it to my 3 year old when she gets home from preschool. She'll love it!

Jason Menayan from San Francisco on October 18, 2006:

Eventually people are going to start having these guys as pets, like ferrets. Especially if they eat bugs.

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on October 18, 2006:

SOOO I just want everyone to know and appreciate my love and my own appreciation of the marmoset. All these pictures I pretty much had on my computer already. That's not sad. That's awesome. Because marmosets are awesome.

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