At around 13.6 centimeters (5.35 inches), pygmy marmosets are the world’s smallest primates. And their babies are even smaller and more vulnerable, as seen in this Nature Bites clip from The Secret Life of the Zoo.
Mum Audrey has had five sets of twins, a common occurrence for these small “finger monkeys.” Also common: not all of the babies survive. Chester Zoo primate keeper Holly Webb explains:
“They tend to have twins because the survival rates of offspring is quite low; it’s about 25% in the wild, so it’s really important that the mum keeps hold of them and carries them around. They need to be with her 24/7 because they’re completely helpless when they’re born…”
“When they’re born, they weigh about 16 grams, so you can imagine just how small and delicate they are. There’s always risks; the likelihood of both surviving is quite low so you’re always a bit scared.”
Sixteen grams is only around half an ounce. They’re small.
But by the end of the clip, the family is pitching in to help tired mum Audrey, including dad Gummi and oldest brother Gus. And the clinging twins, now a few weeks old, continue to be super cute and cared for.
Watch these related monkey videos next:
• Pygmy marmosets, the World’s Smallest Monkey
• How do you keep common marmosets happy?
• Phayre’s Leaf Monkeys with a bright orange baby
• Baby golden lion tamarin twins at Auckland Zoo