The smallest monkey in the world is no different from the average chimp in that it needs to eat, climb, and run. Those remarkable little inhabitants of the Southern American rain forest live primarily on trees in large social families. The smallest monkey in the world, the pygmy macaque, lives alone in cohesive family units, makes elaborate speech and complex forms bonds with other members of the group. Sometimes these families group together to look for food or to escape from predators. This is probably the smallest monkey in the world, about a foot in length.
A small enough monkey, the pygmy marmosets are good climbers and foragers. Their natural habitat is the dry oak tree. They also rely heavily on vines for climbing support and the bark of small trees for additional protection from the sun. The marmosets eat a very high fiber diet consisting mainly of resins that contain sugars and starch, along with fruit and seeds, roots, and cellulose.
In the days before humans arrived on the scene the average lifespan of a pygmy marmosets was just a few years. There are only about 25 known wild marmosets left in the wild. Their range has been greatly reduced by the commercial planting of trees in their range. The population number has declined so much that some populations are completely extinct. Luckily, several recent studies have shown that these diminutive primates can flourish even in places where they have been lost. As an example, the western black-cheeked tree squirrel (Spermacopus Ventrifolius) has successfully taken over a population of pygmy marmots that were extirpated from their natural habitats in the late 1980s.
A few other monkey families that are commonly domesticated include the Amazon monkey (Plumbago zeylanica), thebrushtail monkey (Microsorum pombe) and the tufted monkey (Ciclopirox prosaic). The tufted monkey is the smallest of all the macaques. At about one inch long, the tufted monkey makes an adorable pet that is sometimes given as a gift. These diminutive monkeys are extremely playful and are often used in Monkey Shows to entertain crowds.
One of the most common monkey families is the mouse lemur. Also known as the Microsorum genus, this family contains at least seven species including the common mouse lemur, Microtusa biclopirox, Microtusa lacewing, Microtusa micropus, M. athermata, and M. interlope. Although it is the smallest monkey in the world, this family also includes three subspecies. The tiniest of these three, the tiniest macaque, is only 3.5 inches in length, making it the least common monkey in south America. Interestingly enough, a group of these macaques called Microtusa, which lives in the Amazon, has been proven to have a lifespan of more than a decade.
The smallest lemur is also the thinnest monkey of all. Theelephant monkey, also known as the white-tipped lemurs, is only about one inch in length. The Acacne lemurs are also slightly smaller than the elephant lemur. The smallest lemurs are found in the rainforests of Brazil. Some researchers believe that these lemurs are surviving members of a much larger family that once inhabited the wildernesses of central Africa.
While many people think that monkeys are only found in the jungles of south America, this is not necessarily the case. In fact, there are sightings being reported from all over the world right now. It is believed that a variety of different monkey families make up the lemur species. In fact, there is even a genus of monkey, designated on the International System of Classification and Characterization (ISC) as Phyllanomys cablosus.
So, what is the world’s smallest monkey? The most likely candidate for this title is the South American lemur, currently the smallest monkey in the world, but it is highly doubtful if it will remain as such. In fact, the future seems to hold many more surprises.