The Goeldi’s Marmoset troop at the Vancouver Aquarium
welcomed a new addition in early September.
This is the fourth baby born to Ginger, the troop’s matriarch, and an
important addition to the captive population of these primates, which are classified
as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Kristen Brown, the animal care specialist responsible for
these animals, says that female Goeldi’s marmosets generally have two offspring
a year. Kristen says the baby will spend the next couple of weeks hanging
on to its mom’s shoulders, crawling to her belly when it’s time to nurse. Eventually, the baby will begin to venture
out on its own and become interested in what everyone else is eating: fruits,
vegetables and insects.
After two months, the baby will start jumping and climbing
as it grows stronger. And if past experience is any indication, it will also
start to chase and be chased by its brothers and sisters.
Goeldi’s Marmosets are native to the upper Amazon Basin in
South America. These tiny primates are
only about 8 inches (20 cm) long, excluding the tail. Like most tropical primates, they feed on
fruit, insects, and small vertebrates.
During the dry season, they feed on fungi, making them the only tropical
primate to depend on this food item.
Photo Credit: Neil Fisher