Geographical Range Eastern Brazil
Habitat Lowland rainforest
Scientific Name Callithrix geoffroyi
Conservation Status Common
Zoo Location Primate House

Geoffroy's marmosets are omnivores, which means they eat plants and animals. Their wild diet is mostly fruit, insects and plant gums. Plant gums are a sap-like ooze that comes out of trees as a defense against bark damage. These monkeys are the only primates that regularly gouge their own holes in trees with their chisel-like teeth to tap its gum. Around a day after they create the holes, they come back to eat the gum that has oozed out.

Safety in Numbers

For marmosets, safety is the name of the game! Being one of the smallest monkeys on earth means they have to watch for predators. Marmosets take turns being the look-out for the group, and everyone will stop what they are doing if they see or hear anything that might be a threat. They might also use mobbing, alarm calling, freezing in place or running away from potential predators as tactics.

Geoffroy's marmosets live in family groups in the wild, with usually around eight to 10 members.

Twins Run in the Family

Females almost always have fraternal twins, and for the first week after they are born the father is the only family member that carries the babies. After that, everyone helps care for the babies, with dad still being the main carrier. Older siblings learn how to care for their potential future babies this way.

Threats in the Wild

The main threat to the Geoffroy's marmoset is habitat loss. Their forest homes being destroyed by human activity makes it hard for them to find what they need.

You can help marmosets in the wild even if you don't live in the forests of Brazil by being a forest-friendly consumer:

  • Reduce, reuse, recycle — in that order.
  • Use Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified wood and paper products.
  • Use rainforest-friendly coffee, such as Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Did You Know?

Geoffroy's marmosets are also called white-headed marmosets and tufted-ear marmosets.