The Buffy-headed Marmoset (Callithrix aurita) is a small primate native to South America, most commonly found in the tropical forests of the Amazon rainforest. It has a distinctive gray body and a light gray or buffy-colored head, giving it its name. This species is one of the smallest primates in the world, measuring only about 5 inches in length and weighing only around 4 ounces. The tail is typically slightly longer than the body and the feet are black.
The Buffy-headed Marmoset was discovered by Thomas in 1903. This species is endemic to Brazil. It is currently (2003) listed as an endangered species. It inhabits a small area of South-east Brazil between the Doce and Paraiba rivers.
The Buffy-headed Marmoset weighs on average around 400 grams. They have a dark mask around their eyes and nose. They have black hair down the center of their chest, and the underparts are buffy.
They are also known by the common name of White-eared Marmoset, and are sometimes called the White-eared Monkey or Buffy-headed Monkey.
Buffy-headed Marmosets live in family groups of four to six individuals. They are diurnal animals, meaning they are active during the day, and they spend their time foraging for food and playing in the trees. They primarily feed on fruits, leaves, flowers, nectar, and insects. They also have a unique way of communicating through a series of high-pitched squeaks and chirps.
Buffy-headed Marmosets are threatened by deforestation and habitat loss, which is one of the major threats to this species survival. They are also vulnerable to capture for the pet trade and poaching for food in some areas. It is illegal to capture or keep Marmosets as pets in some countries, including Brazil.
These small primates are important to their local ecosystems as they help disperse seeds and are also an important source of food for other species. Conservation efforts for the Buffy-headed Marmoset include the creation of protected areas in the Amazon and the regulation of animal trafficking. There is hope that with careful management, this species can continue to thrive in its native habitat.
An unusual feature of this particular species is its diet. Unlike most marmosets, the Buffy-headed Marmoset eats plant gums as a source of carbohydrates instead of fruit (Ferrari & Mendes 1991). With this unique feature, it enables the Buffy-headed Marmoset to colonize areas where the fruit is scarce, other Marmosets would not be capable of this.
The gestation period for the Buffy-headed Marmoset is around 140 to 148 days. The litter can range between 1 to 4 newborn marmosets. This particular species of marmoset is monogamous, maintaining a partner for life.
Further Information on the Buffy-headed Marmoset