March 23, 2021

Monkey Mania

#StlZooMonkeyMania! Our primate keepers have selected eight monkey species to be featured in a friendly online voting competition. The champion will be featured on our social media and have the Primate House named after them for the day! Our final matchup in our Arboreal Eight is the Goeldi’s monkey vs. the Geoffroy’s marmoset.

Which do you feel has the most unique vocalization? 

These little monkeys have a lot to say and can communicate in many ways, including vocalizations, scent marking, facial expressions and body language.  They have a large repertoire of vocalizations, from quiet whistles and chirps to a loud, long-distance “shrill call” that can be heard from over 100 meters (328 feet) away. An interesting form of communication they use involves sneezing and nose rubbing to scent mark. 

Marmosets use many different calls during their day, but the call you can probably hear from the farthest away is the “phee call.”  Phee calls are very loud, high-pitched whistles that are given one to five times in a row that last around two seconds each. Marmosets use this call to keep the group together, defend their space or find lost group members. Next time you are in the Primate House and you think you hear a tea kettle, it might just be a phee.

Make your selection at 

Photos: Ethan Riepl