Daily Archives: April 17, 2017

Pygmy Marmosets

Pygmy Marmosets, Pacaya Samiria Reserve, Amazon River upriver from Iquitos

On our Wildside Nature Tours Amazon River Boat Adventure, we visited a small village in the Pacaya Samiria Reserve on the  River above Iquito, Peru to check the trees for Pygmy Marmosets. Pygmy Marmosets chew small holes in trees and eat the gummy sap that collects in the holes. It is the only time you are likely to see the marmosets anywhere below the canopy, and you will not see them in the canopy, so knowing where the trees they feed on is essential if you want to see them at all. The villagers at this location clearly expect a regular traffic of visitors who come to see their monkeys, as they have one of the larger displays of craft tables we saw along the river, and semi-permanent shelters for them. 

And Pygmy Marmosets are certainly worth seeing. They are the world’s smallest primate, at about 4 inches long (not counting the 8 inch tail). I found various figures for their weight, but most sources put them somewhere in the 3.5 ounce range. They are, needless to say, too cute. They have a typical monkey attitude, and the direct, totally aware, gaze of any of our cousins. They very definitely look back you. The one that appears to be sticking out his tongue at me is really only chewing gum. 

We had an even closer encounter with the Pygmy Marmosets when we visited a Shaman at her healing center, where two went about their gummy business near the base of a tree only a few feet from us…but the light was certainly better higher in the trees of our first sighting. 

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent. Program Mode. I have the ISO set to a maximum of 1600 so these shots are all at 1600 ISO, and at relatively show shutter speeds, shot off my bean-bag monopod (my beanpod). Processed in Polarr and assembled in Frame Magic on my iPad Pro.