IUCN threat status:

Endangered (EN)

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Biology

The buffy-headed marmoset is a diurnal monkey, spending the nights sleeping in tree holes or other shelters, and the daylight hours running and hopping through trees and bushes with quick, jerky movements as it searches for food (2). The diet of the buffy-headed marmoset includes fruit and gum, as well as insects, seeds and nectar (7). The lower canines of marmosets are perfectly suited to gouging holes in tree bark and inducing the flow of gum and sap (2), the sticky substances which act as a tree's defence against damage to its bark (4). While this provides a year-round reliable source of food, it is not the buffy-headed marmoset's favourite meal, as it will decrease the amount of gum it eats during times of the year when fruit is plentiful (7). When preying on insects, such as grasshoppers, the buffy-headed marmoset employs a 'scan and pounce' method (7). This is not only an effective way of hunting, but allows the marmoset to combine the essential activity of feeding with the equally important task of remaining vigilant in case of predators (8). Being such a small mammal, the buffy-headed marmoset is vulnerable to a host of predators, from raptors that circle the skies above, to snakes that slither on the ground below. They are continuously attentive of their surroundings, and nearly any object passing overhead, even a falling, dead leaf, provokes a response in this wary monkey (8). The buffy-headed marmoset lives in groups of four to fifteen individuals, typically dominated by a monogamous pair (2). Generally, only the dominant female will breed (2), nearly always giving birth to twins: a feature of the life history of all marmosets (5) (9). The young are born after a gestation period of 150 days and there is often just five to eight months between each litter (9). This particularly high rate of reproduction is made possible by the extensive care of the young that is provided by other members of the group, as well as by both parents (4). All members of the group will play some part in carrying the tiny young on their backs or sharing food with the growing twins (9).

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Source: ARKive

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