Wied’s Marmoset

Wied's Marmoset


Eastern coast of Brazil (the state of Bahai)


Secondary semi-deciduous forests and forest edges


Wied's marmosets are black with red, brassy hairs on their lower back and thighs and a ringed tail. They have black faces with cream cheek and forehead patches. These marmosets are among the smallest of the primates, measuring in at eight to thirteen inches in length and weighing about a pound. Like other marmosets, the Wied's marmoset has non-opposable thumbs and digits that are more claw-like than other primates. The also lack the wisdom teeth of other primates and have acute sight, hearing and smell. Marmosets rely on their powerful teeth and jaw to gouge latex, gum and sap out of trees for the majority of their diet in the wild.

Wied's Marmoset

Wied's marmosets are diurnal (active during the day) and arboreal (living in trees). These marmosets sleep in three holes at night, usually selecting areas that have mature trees and heavy foliage growth for cover. They live in groups of four to nine individuals. Typical groups include an adult pair and their offspring (sometimes more than one set). They may form mixed-species groups, and are able to maintain these groups because they do not compete for the same food resources and forage in different niches. For example, golden lion tamarins forage in the upper story of the forests, while Wied's marmoset forage in the middle to lower stories. Marmosets are scent markers. After they 'gouge' trees and feed, they will leave their scent. These marmosets use their ear tufts as an aggressive display by raising and lowering them towards others.


These marmosets commonly give birth to twins after a gestation of approximately 135 days. Fathers are very involved in child rearing, often carrying around the infants. Parents may also manage to somehow delay the sexual maturity of older siblings, in order to enlist their help with new infants. Infants are weaned at around two months, though adults will continue to share food with immature marmosets. Sexual maturity normally comes in 1-2 years. Only dominant females of the group breed and the other females' hormones are repressed. In the wild the breeding season is October to November, but in favorable conditions marmosets can breed every five months. Old age in marmosets seems to come in their teens, with a known life span ranging from 11-17 years.

Interesting Facts:

Once considered primitive, squirrel-like primates, new evidence suggests that marmosets are advanced both morphologically and ecologically. Once established as breeders, tamarins and marmosets have a higher reproductive potentials than any other primates.

Did YOU Know?    
The word
Wied's Marmoset
Class: mammals
Order: Primates
Family: Callitricidae
Genus: Callithrix
Species: kulii
Length: body: 17-21 cm; tail: 25 cm
Weight: 12-14 oz (350-400 g)
Average Lifespan: 5
Wild Diet: Plant exudates (gum, sap, latex), fruit, nectar, flowers, seeds and insects
Zoo Diet: Canned marmoset diet, fruit, vegetables, seeds and insects
Predators: Hawks, eagles, jaguars and large snakes
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Appendix II
Where at the Zoo? Small Animal Building: Temperate Zone

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