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Do Finger Monkeys Make Good Pets?

Do Finger Monkeys Make Good Pets?

Exotic animals make popular and contentious pets. Despite the fact that many states permit it and there are no federal prohibitions, experts advise against keeping any kind of wild animal as a pet. The finger monkey, which is indigenous to Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru, has become increasingly popular among owners of exotic pets in recent years.

What exactly is a “Finger Monkey”?

These lovely creatures are real monkeys, as their name suggests. They are the world’s tiniest primates and the smallest species of monkey. The pygmy marmoset is their formal name. They reside high in the treetops of South American jungles, just like other marmoset species.

The pygmy marmoset is the smallest of the marmoset species, only reaching lengths of 4.6 to 6.2 inches without its tail, which can reach lengths of 6.9 to 9 inches. The average weight of a female is just over 4 ounces, making her slightly larger than a male. The name comes from the fact that baby pygmy marmosets are so small they can cling to your finger like other monkeys do to tree branches.

The 22 New World monkey species of the genera Callithrix, Cebuella, Callibella, and Mico are referred to as marmosets (/mrmzts, -sts/), also known as zaris or sagoin. The biological family Callitrichidae includes all four genera. The nearly related Callimico goeldii, also known as the Goeldi’s marmoset, is referred to as a “marmoset.”

The average marmoset is 20 cm (8 in) length. They have several characteristics that seem more primitive than those of other monkeys; for example, their wrists have tactile hairs in addition to claws instead of nails. Their brain structure appears to be rather simple, and they lack wisdom teeth. Their body temperature is remarkably unstable, fluctuating up to 4°C (7°F) in a single day.

Most marmosets are about 20 cm (8 in) long. Relative to other monkeys, they show some apparently primitive features; they have claws rather than nails, and tactile hairs on their wrists. Do Finger Monkeys Make Good Pets?

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How a Finger Monkey Lives

Because they are sociable animals, finger monkeys typically live in small groups that include an adult male, an adult female, and their offspring. The groupings can have as little as two people or as many as nine or 10. Females can give birth twice a year, and while single or triple births can happen, the typical outcome is twins each time. For the first two weeks after birth, the males carry and tend to the babies. Although the species prefers to be monogamous, groups may have a second male to help with baby care. Young finger monkeys assist with baby care as well. Do Finger Monkeys Make Good Pets?

In the wild, finger monkeys live an average of 12 to 16 years. That range increases to 15 to 22 years in captivity. According to research, just one-fourth of all infants born in the wild survive to adulthood, with the majority dying through falls from trees or from the group member who was carrying them. Do Finger Monkeys Make Good Pets?

These little mammals have claw-like long, sharp nails, as opposed to other primates’ flat nails. They can rely on these to maintain themselves vertically on trees as they eat sap with the aid of their long, slender teeth. Additionally, finger monkeys eat tree resin, gum, and vines. Their diet also includes berries, butterflies, spiders, and small insects. Do Finger Monkeys Make Good Pets?

Do Finger Monkeys Make Good Pets?
Do Finger Monkeys Make Good Pets? 3

Do Finger Monkeys Make Good Pets?


Now that you know more about finger monkeys, what factors should you take into account before considering to keep one as a pet? You should first confirm that keeping primates, and specifically monkeys, as pets, is legal in your state. The private possession of monkeys is expressly forbidden in more than half of all states and the District of Columbia, or is permitted only with a specific license, permit, or exemption granted by the state, county, or municipality. Do Finger Monkeys Make Good Pets?

Due to their small size and adorable looks, these little marmosets have become very popular as pets in the United States. They are still wild animals, though. They eat by boring into tree bark with their long teeth, as was already noted. Although normally not dangerous, especially to children and other animals, this makes their bite uncomfortable. Aggressive behavior in finger monkeys is well-known, especially in males as they mature. They are known to throw their waste when enraged, just like other monkeys. Do Finger Monkeys Make Good Pets?

These are intellectual creatures, and the first few years of existence have a profound impact on them. Because the habits they form now will stick with them for the rest of their lives, you must invest a lot of effort in training them when they are young. Do Finger Monkeys Make Good Pets?

It is crucial to replicate their natural habitat in captivity. They are given the freedom to jump, climb, and play as they would in the wild in a sizable cage with trees, vines, water, and swings. Direct sunlight is desirable, but if it isn’t always accessible, a heat lamp or other artificial light source can be attached to the cage. A “starter” cage kit may be offered by some breeders when you buy a finger monkey. Give them access to trees, fruit, veggies, and insects to supplement their diet.

At the very least, you ought to purchase or adopt pairs of finger monkeys. These gregarious animals need human company, yet even that is insufficient to keep them mentally healthy. Their wellbeing depends on having friendship among members of the same species. Additionally, they are susceptible to human illnesses like the flu, chicken pox, and HIV. Obtain a guarantee that your monkeys are healthy from the breeder. Find out if there is a veterinarian in your area who specializes in primates before opting to bring one home. These animals cannot be appropriately treated by a general veterinarian.

Between $4,500 – $9,000 is the initial expenditure for a single finger monkey, including the required cage and consumables. It is expensive to keep finger monkeys as pets in terms of cash, time, care, space, and research. You shouldn’t embark on this endeavor naively.

Five fascinating facts about pygmy marmosets: Do Finger Monkeys Make Good Pets?

• Pygmy marmosets, also known as finger monkeys, reside in the treetops of South American rainforests.

• These animals use their fingernails as claws to scale trees.

• This tiny omnivore loves eating tree sap, fruits, berries, and butterflies.

• One pair of pygmy marmosets, a male and a female, reproduce and coexist for life.

• Like other monkeys, pygmy marmosets groom each other’s fur.

What do marmosets consume and where do they come from?


With a few lingering colonies in Central America, marmosets are primarily found in the tropical rainforests of South America. Marmosets consume insects, snails, lizards, frogs, leaves, fruit, seeds, and flowers in addition to the sap and gum from trees. They also consume insects, snails, lizards, and young birds.

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