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Monkeys That Stay Small: 11 Tiny Monkey Breeds That You Have To See

It is unlikely for us to see monkeys since they are exotic. You can find them in the forests of the following countries: Africa, America, Asia, Central America, and South America. They have varying sizes that is why you can notice that some monkeys are small while some monkeys are big.

Most of the time, small monkeys are less likely to be seen than big ones. In the past, these small monkey breeds were regarded as pets since they only needed a little space. In this article, you will get to know about eleven small monkey breeds.


11 Small Monkey Breeds


1. Night Monkey

Night Monkey
Night Monkey

The first small monkey breed on the list is the night monkey. The size of the Night Monkeys ranges from 13.4 inches to 13.6 inches, with varying weights of 1 pound up until 2.77 pounds.

Night monkeys are known to be nocturnal monkeys having eleven species in total. They also have huge eyes. Now, because of these two things, their other name is owl monkey.
Aside from having huge eyes, we might think that their vision is colored because they are nocturnal.

However, it is the other way around. They do not possess color vision. This is not a hindrance since it contributes to their night vision, helping them see better in the dark than other monkey breeds. As for their diet, it consists of fruits, insects, and leaves.

Expert Tip: Night monkeys are difficult to raise because they are nocturnal. This is why they are not suitable to become pets since they have a possibility to be violent at times.

The sad thing about night monkeys is that they are at risk of being endangered or some are already endangered. The reason behind this is the increasing rate of the following activities, biomedical testing use, trading, habitat loss, and smuggling.

If you want to see these monkeys while they still exist, they live in Panama and South America.


2. Spider Monkey

Spider Monkey
Spider Monkey

The size of the spider monkey ranges from 14 inches to 26 inches, with a weight of 13.2 pounds. Their size plays a vital role since it helps them to survive easily. Since they have slim bodies, they can quickly go from one tree to another to look for food and run away from predators.

Two attributes make spider monkeys stand out. First, they have a furry tail that exceeds their body. Another thing about their tail is that it is very heavy. This monkey breed’s second characteristic is its coat color, which varies from black, gray, dark brown, and red.
This monkey breed is rare and endangered around the world.

They have fourteen species that originally came from the rainforests. As for their diet, they prefer food that is found in the forests. Spider monkeys are not recommended to become pets because they want to have a normal life as a primate. If you want to see these monkeys, they live in America, specifically in Central and Southern America.

The amazing thing about these monkeys is that you can find them in groups, at most 500 in number.


3. Red-Handed Tamarin

Red-Handed Tamarin
Red-Handed Tamarin

The size of the Red-Handed Tamarins ranges from 8 inches to 11 inches with varying weights of 0.9 pounds up until 1.2 pounds. The red-handed tamarin is also called a golden-handed tamarin. The reason behind this is their feet and hands, which are reddish-gold.

Their ears are also long, which goes past their head. These monkeys are known to be great at climbing because their toes and fingers possess a sharp claw. They are also great at leaping sixty feet from trees.

The amazing thing about them is that they are not injured from leaping. They are also energetic, which is why they need a large space to roam and play around.

Expert Tip: They need constant attention and activities because they quickly get bored if they are not given those. Otherwise, if they are not given sufficient attention and activities, they will have behavioral issues.



If you want to see these monkeys, they live in South America, specifically in the Amazon River’s northern forests.


4. Saki Monkey

Saki Monkey
Saki Monkey

The size of the spider monkey ranges from 12 inches to 20 inches, with varying weights of 2 pounds up until 3 pounds. You will notice that they are the lightest breed among the small monkeys.

As for their diet, it comprises the following: leaves, fruits, flowers, and insects. Since they are short, they prefer living in trees during their whole life. However, they go to the land when they are looking for the food mentioned above.

Saki monkeys are not recommended to become pets. If you want to see these monkeys, they live in America, specifically in the rainforests and highway borders of Central and Southern America.


5. Tarsier

Tarsier
Tarsier

The size of the Tarsiers ranges from 4 inches to 6 inches with varying weights of 1.1 pounds up until 5.9 pounds. The distinct feature of Tarsiers is their eyes. This is because they have huge ones similar to mammals. They are also nocturnal like the night monkeys.

At night, their peepers play a crucial role in their vision. Their eyes cannot be rotated, so they must rotate their head, specifically 180 degrees, to see their surroundings. This is a similar action being done by owls. Tarsiers also possess huge feet and fingers, which is essential when grasping and climbing vertical branches.

They are also great at jumping, capable of a leap beyond their body length, specifically forty times greater. Their diet consists of the following: frogs, insects, lizards, and bats. The difference between Tarsiers and other monkey breeds is that they are not fond of eating plants.

Tarsiers do not like being locked in cages. This is because they can easily get stressed, which is mentally detrimental to them. This can also cause them to resort to suicide. There are also other things that cause them stress: sound, light, and human touch. You will notice that when they are agitated, they bang their heads on hard surfaces.

Tarsiers are hard to breed, so their survival depends on the maintenance of their habitat. This monkey breed is also not recommended to become pets. If you want to see these monkeys, they live in Southeast-Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.


6. Howler Monkey

Howler Monkey
Howler Monkey

The size of the howler monkey ranges from 22 inches to 36 inches, with varying weights of 16 pounds up until 32.5 pounds. From its name, howler monkeys are the loudest among all monkey breeds. They have fifteen different species and subspecies. The first characteristic when you see them is their noses which are round in shape.

Another is their long and strong tail which they use to grab fruits and nuts from trees.
Howler monkeys are not recommended to become pets. This is because despite being friendly at the start, they can be petty and territorial.

If you want to see these monkeys, they live in northern Argentina, southern Brazil, eastern Bolivia, and Paraguay, specifically in their forests.

Expert Tip: The amazing thing about these monkeys is that you can find them in groups, ranging from 20 to 30 in number.


7. Capuchin Monkey

Capuchin Monkey
Capuchin Monkey

The size of the Capuchin Monkeys ranges from 13 inches to 18 inches with varying weights of 6.4 pounds up until 8.6 pounds. This breed is considered to belong to the most intelligent monkey breeds in our new world. A distinct feature of capuchin monkeys is that they have opposable thumbs.

The tools that they use are sticks and stones. Their tail also grasps on the tree branches.
These monkeys are intelligent and more adaptable to new environments in comparison to other monkeys. As for their diet, they eat a wide variety of food than other monkeys.
Capuchin monkeys are also the monkeys seen and featured in movies and television.

It is common for these monkeys to be pets. They have an average lifespan of 40 years.
If you want to see these monkeys, they live in Central America and South America.


8. Squirrel Monkey

Squirrel Monkey
Squirrel Monkey

The first small monkey breed on the list is the Squirrel Monkey. Their size ranges from 9 inches to 14 inches with varying weights of 9.6 up until 1.7 pounds. The characteristic of squirrel monkeys is their color since they have grey fur, yellowtail, and yellow arms. Their tail is gripping in the branches, which makes them balanced.

They are smart because their brain is larger than their body. They are also active and continuously need attention and something to do. If they do not have enough entertainment, they will result in disastrous behaviors. Squirrel monkeys are recommended to become pets.

However, they are not suggested to be the only pet since they are highly social. If you want to see these monkeys, they live in Central America and South America, specifically in the canopy layer. The amazing thing about these monkeys is that you can find them in groups, at most 500 in number.


9. Golden Lion Tamarin

Golden Lion Tamarin
Golden Lion Tamarin

The size of the Golden Lion Tamarins ranges from 9.5 inches to 9.8 inches, with varying weights of 1.2 pounds up until 1.4 pounds. This breed is considered the most popular.
Their noticeable feature is their coat which is bright orange and color, and it is thick around their neck.

The sad thing about these monkeys is that they are endangered since only 1,500 species are remaining. Golden lion tamarins are intelligent. It is also a must to feed them on a rotating diet not to get sick of the food. Despite being small in size, they need ample space to roam around and play.

Expert Tip: Golden lion tamarins are recommended to become pets. However, they need to be enclosed so that they will not unlock the door.

They are best kept in groups compared to being alone since they can be hostile. If you want to see these monkeys, they live in Brazil.

The amazing thing about these monkeys is that they live in groups of nine monkeys with their family members. They share food with their family during mealtime and hibernate in tree cavities.


10. Pygmy Marmoset

Pygmy Marmoset
Pygmy Marmoset

The pygmy marmoset is also called a finger monkey. Their size ranges from 4 inches to 6 inches with varying weights of 3.5 ounces up until 4.5 pounds. This breed is considered the smallest one around the world since its growth size is only limited.

They have a longer tail in comparison to their body, which helps them balance when running onto the treetop. Since they are small, they are prone to the danger of being eaten by large predators. These large predators are as follows: hawks, cats, snakes, and eagles.

Despite this, they are fast, so they have a quick reaction time when encountering these predators. This breed is a great companion, but they need to receive continuous attention. Another thing is that they should have a vast space for them to roam around and play.

When they are left in a cage, they become aggressive and territorial. Lastly, pygmy marmoset is not suggested to be the only pet since they need other pet companions. If you want to see these monkeys, they live in South America, specifically in the western basin of Amazon rainforests.


11. Common Marmoset

Common Marmoset
Common Marmoset

The last small monkey breed on the list is a common marmoset. Their size ranges from 7.28 inches to 7.40 inches, with varying weights of 8.32 ounces up until 9.03 ounces.
Common marmosets are high maintenance which makes them difficult to take care of.

On a daily basis, they need to be exposed to UV rays since this helps maintain their health. When they are young, they are loving and like to play. However, they can be aggressive as they grow older.

They also have an interesting diet since they only eat the following: insects and liquids of plants which include latex, sap, gum, and resin. They possess sharp teeth, which helps them in eating these.

Common marmosets are recommended to become pets. If you want to see these monkeys, they live in Brazil. The amazing thing about these monkeys is that they live in groups, at most 15 monkeys which comprise three family generations in maximum.


Monkeys as Pets

Monkeys as Pet
Monkeys as Pet

We cannot deny that monkeys are charming, especially the small monkey breeds which can be kept as pets. However, just like other animals, they grow and develop behavioral issues even if they were the sweetest when they were young.

When you decide to adopt these small monkey breeds as pets, you must be prepared for the concerns you will be facing when they grow old. Despite having them trained, it is still challenging to take care of monkeys, and here are four aspects that you should take note of:


1. Behaviors

When monkeys are still young, their sweetness and innocence are overpowering. They are also dependent on you as their owner. However, you will notice that as they enter adulthood, they develop independence. They also become fierce and follow their instincts.

Typically, what you would resort to is letting them grow in the comfort of your own home instead of allowing them to live normally in the wild. You must allow your monkey to be social with the same species. This will result in destructive behaviors, and you will notice your monkey’s aggressiveness.

Expert Tip: Since they want to experience freedom, they will do actions such as hurting, pushing, and biting you. You have to be careful when this happens since their actions can injure you.



There is no escape from this since it is already embedded in their nature, even if you are his owner.


2. Legalities

Dogs and cats can easily be adopted and domesticated. However, this is not the case for all animals, especially with monkeys. They are initially from the wild, so it is a big adjustment for them to become pets.

Not all countries allow monkeys to be kept as pets. However, other countries allow this, but the legal requirements need to be met. The requirements are as follows: permit and paperwork.

Now, a lot of inspections must be undergone to be a legal owner of monkeys. Another thing to take note of is insurance. This is important not to take the blame when their monkeys hurt other people.


3. Finance

When you are a monkey owner, you need to invest when it comes to space. Your monkey must have a vast area to provide a wide place to roam around and play for your monkey. To have this, you must have money for this to be constructed and maintained.

Aside from space, you must also invest in medical treatment, nutrition, hygiene, and entertainment. You possess the responsibility to take care of your monkey in a domestic setting. Overall, it is a commitment to take care of your monkey, especially since monkeys have a long lifespan.


4. Health

Despite the strength of monkeys, they are still prone to having diseases. At the same time, since you are exposed to your monkey, you are also at risk of getting the same diseases. This transmission from primates’ diseases to human beings is known as a zoonotic disease.

Now, you can invest in your monkey’s health by looking for a veterinarian. It can be difficult at first to find one who will take care of your monkey’s health. However, do not stop looking because it will contribute a significant impact on your monkey’s health.


Conclusion

Monkeys are incredible and one-of-a-kind creatures. They have distinctive attributes which set them apart from other animals. Now that you know the small monkey breeds, you can quickly identify their breed and how to deal with them.

Also, if you decide to make these small monkey breeds your pets, you must be prepared for the lifelong journey you will be having with your monkey.

I hope you have gained knowledge of the eleven small monkey breeds mentioned in this article. Feel free to comment on further questions you have in mind below.

About Grace Hocker

Hi, my name is Grace and I am a pet lover. Ever since 5 years old, I've owned some sort of pet from Bearded Dragons to Rabbits. I have dedicated my life to helping pets, and am here to help you get the best for your pet!