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Callimico

Helen Brach Primate House

Did You Know?

  • Callimicos spend most of their time in the understory of forests, less than 16 feet from the ground. They travel around 1.2 miles per day in a circular pattern within their territory. They can leap about 13 feet without losing any height.
  • They rely heavily on fungi as a food source, especially in the dry season when fruit is scarce. Thus, they prefer stream edge, bamboo and secondary growth forest habitats, which are at risk in the Amazon.
  • Callimicos often travel and forage with tamarins, to which they are closely related.

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Overview

Scientific Name: Callimico goeldii

Class: Mammals

Diet: Fungi, fruit, insects, tree sap, small vertebrates

Range: Western South America

Endangered Status: Vulnerable

More Information

Callimicos, also called Goeldi’s monkeys, are small mammals with shaggy black hair. Their faces are lighter in color than their body, and they have claw-like nails at the end of all their digits except for their big toes. Their tail is 10–13 inches long—a few inches longer than their body. Callimicos are the only animals within the Callimico genus; their closest relatives are tamarins and marmosets.

Callimicos are social animals. They often sleep close together and rest in dense groups. They even travel and forage with other tamarin species. These primates communicate through vocalizations, scent glands on their stomachs, facial expressions, and body language. Their cries can carry more than 330 feet. Females give birth to one offspring at a time, unlike their tamarin and marmoset cousins, and take care of the young of other group members. Their gestation period is 155 days. Young are weaned at 12 weeks of age.

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