Geoffrey's marmoset (callithris geoffroyi)
description: Small, squirrel-sized monkey with white cheeks, forehead and throat, bordered by black ear tufts; Body is black with brown undersides and a black striped tail; Incisor teeth are specifically shaped to carve holes in the trunks of trees, from which they drink the tree sap and gum that oozes out.
Diet: Feeds on insects, spiders, small animals and fruits; Their teeth are specialized for chewing through tree bark to get tree gum and sap.
Habitat: Prefers coastal and upland scrub forest and high-canopied forest.
Status and conservation: The decline in numbers of the Geoffrey's Marmoset is due mainly to habitat destruction. At one time it was thought they were a carrier for yellow fever and malaria. Large numbers of monkeys were persecuted in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease. It is now known that not only do these primates not carry these diseases, but are actually more at risk of dying from our common ailments.
Did you know... Family groups of Geoffrey's Marmosets usually consist of four to fifteen individuals. Females give birth to twins, but after ten days the fathers carry the babies most of the time, only passing them to the mother for nursing. The young stay with their parents through the rearing of several litters and they help with childcare. These "helpers" gain breeding experience while waiting for a suitable habitat to become available. The parents of larger groups have more helpers and have to spend less time carrying their young themselves.