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World’s smallest species of primate bred at Banham Zoo

Monday 10th April 2017

As new births go, you could almost be forgiven for missing this one, keepers at Banham Zoo have recently reported the birth of a white-bellied pygmy marmoset, with their latest new offspring tipping the scales and an estimated weight of 15 grams!

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So why so small, well the diminutive pygmy marmoset is the world’s smallest species of primate, adults weighing in at around 150g. This is the first successful breeding at the zoo from this particular pairing, Spongebob and Mojo, although the zoo has an enviable record for breeding pygmy marmosets and other related species of marmoset and tamarin, some of which are highly endangered in the wild.

Keepers have been keeping a very close eye on the parents and their new offspring but it is still too soon for staff to be able to determine the sex of their latest breeding success.

Pygmy marmosets come from South America (specifically Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia) and are found in the canopies of tropical moist lowland and montane forest. Although not endangered in the wild at the present time, many other species of marmoset and tamarin are highly endangered and this species as well as others at the zoo help raise awareness for their more endangered relatives.

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