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Common Name: Common Marmoset
Scientific Name: Callithrix jacchus

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Callitrichidae
Genus: Callithrix
Species: C. jacchus


The Common Marmoset is an animal that is anything but ordinary. With unique facts about its characteristics and lifestyle, it is sure to captivate people with its cuddly character. This animal is a New World Monkey, and certainly has the adaptations and descriptions of one.

The Common Marmoset is a generally small animal with black or gray fur, interesting adaptations, and can be identified by its distinguishing characteristics. The life span of a Common Marmoset is usually twelve years in the wild.  It is a particularly small animal; an adult’s average weight varying from three-hundred to five-hundred grams (about the mass of a soda can or medium-sized book).  As for its height, the Common Marmoset is shown to be around one-hundred and eighty millimeters.  You can also identify this animal by its black fur patches around the head and neck areas, and white ear tufts. Other adaptations this animal has are its claws and nails - which help in locomotion -and dentition (the kind, number, and arrangement of teeth) - which helps with its diet.

Found mainly in South America’s tropical rain forests, the Common Marmoset is “distributed throughout the Atlantic Coastal Forest in northeastern Brazil”. It requires hiding places from predators, which the rain forest trees and plants may contribute to.  Its claws and nails help with clinging and leaping on branches, which can be useful if it needed to hide in a tree.  The kinds of insects and trees there also contribute to this animal’s diet.  Because of this, there are few in Central America, though.

The population of this animal is described as “abundant, common, and widespread”.  Its conservation status is “not threatened” or “least concern”. Things that affect the loss of this animal are invasive insects, humans messing up their habitat or hunting them, and predators.  Some common predators are mammals, birds, snakes, owls, and raptors.  To protect other members of their group, the Common Marmoset has alarm calls to warn them. Also, from 1975-2006, the UK reported the export of 8,103 Common Marmoset, which was 43% of world trade.

Spending about fifty percent of the day searching for something to eat, the Common Marmoset has an interesting diet.  Some foods this animal eats would be grasshoppers, crickets, fruit, saps, and tree gum.  Without the Common Marmoset there could possibly be an abundance of insects in South America. Also, birds such as parrots and toucans, as well wooly opossums may be competition for the Common Marmoset.  But since there is excessive tree saps and gums, competition is a not a big concern.

I learned many interesting things about my animal through my research.  One thing I was surprised at was the fact that some Common Marmoset are used as pets, but need to be trained hard.  I also found out that the word “Marmoset” comes from the French word “marmouset”, meaning shrimp or dwarf. That clearly describes the appearance of the Common Marmoset.  Other facts that out as I read about my animal were that they were called the Cotton Eared Marmoset, and could contract human diseases like a common cold.

The Common Marmoset is a very unique and interesting animal that you don’t see every day.  I enjoyed learning many new things about this animal that both surprised and amazed me.  It has many characteristics that differ from any other animal and defines itself.

Author: Marjorie T.
Published: 2/2011






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