Are Marmosets Endangered? - Diseases, Predators & Adaptations

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
This lesson is going to define marmosets. Then you'll learn if they're endangered. Finally, we'll go over the numerous predators, diseases, and adaptations these monkeys have.

What are Marmosets?

Because they're cute, they've been kept as pets for hundreds of years. But, like any other monkey, they don't really make good pets, they're difficult to keep healthy, and they can even be destructive. But what are they? They're marmosets!

Marmosets are primates of the family Callitrichidae. They are small, tree-dwelling, South American monkeys (although some might be found in Central America). In this lesson, you'll learn if they're endangered, what predators they face, diseases they might have, and adaptations to their environment they use.

Are Marmosets Endangered?

Remember, marmosets are a group of various monkeys. There is no one species of marmosets. As a result, some species of marmosets are endangered while others are vulnerable, near threatened, or of least concern in terms of extinction.

Common marmoset
Common marmoset

For example, The Buffy-headed Marmoset is endangered and its population numbers are decreasing, Wied's Marmoset is listed as near threatened, and the Common Marmoset is of least concern with a relatively stable population.

Predators, Diseases, & Adaptations

Marmosets have adapted to their tree-dwelling environment in many ways. Recall that these are tree-dwelling monkeys.

They hop around branches in quick, jerky movements. Their nails, more like claws really, help them to grasp the bark as they do so. They have large canines and incisors that allows them to bore holes into trees, holes that then ooze sap and gum these monkeys eat. And in terms of shelter, marmosets will seek out cavities within trees as a place to hide out or call home.

Marmosets dwell in trees, like these pygmy marmosets pictured here in captivity, using their claws to climb and bore holes into trees for sustenance

Marmosets, owing to their small size, face quite a few different predators. These predators include tree-dwelling snakes, wild cats, as well as birds of prey like owls and raptors.

Marmosets, using common marmosets as the base model, are susceptible to numerous infections and diseases stemming from them, including:

  • Viruses, such as rabies, measles, and herpes.
  • Bacterial agents, such as Campylobacter spp., Bordetella bronchisepticum, and Klebsiella pneumonia. These can lead to watery diarrhea, inflammation of the intestines, and pneumonia respectively.
  • Parasites, such as Giardia, which may cause diarrhea, Pentastoma, which can lead to inflammation of the intestinal tract, and Toxoplasma gondiii, which might result in pneumonia.

Marmosets are susceptible to Bordetella bronchisepticum

Non-infectious diseases marmosets may experience may include:

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