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Can you hold a monkey on your finger? Yes it is true the finger monkey is small enough that you can hold one just by your finger. Now we know you must be thinking that it will be almost impossible to find one. Wrong again, though rare but it is one of the most common types of monkey that you can have as a pet. Again it might sound strange to keep a monkey as a pet but currently it is becoming a popular choice. Before you plan to keep one it is important for you to have a sound knowledge of this animal.
The scientific name for the finger monkey is pygmy marmoset and is grouped among New World monkeys. The Pygmy marmosets are believed to live for 11 to 12 years in wild but in captivity the may reach to an age of early 20s. Most commonly you will find these species in rain forests of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia on high altitudinal areas of up to 200 to 940m. The finger monkeys are different from the typical group of marmosets, so it is classified under its own genus known as Cebuella pygmae.
The finger monkeys are held under two groups:
- Cebuella pygmaea pygmaea also known as Western pygmy marmoset
- Cebuella pygmaea niveiventris known as Eastern pygmy marmoset
Finger monkey is the smallest existing true monkey. Its body size ranges from 14 to 16 centimeters that is 5.5 to 6.3 inches approximately, excluding the long tail that reaches a size of about 15 to 20cm (5.9 to 7.9 inches). The female finger monkey weighs around 120 grams that is 4.2 oz approximately and the male weighs about 140 grams that is equal to 4.9 oz. These monkeys walk on 4 limbs like other monkeys. Because of their small size these monkeys are also known by their nick names i.e. mono de bolsillo meaning pocket monkey and leoncito meaning little lion.
In forests the monkey has a special diet; it feeds on tree gum of usually 1 or 2 trees, with their entire group. When the trees become depleted the group moves on to the new trees. Arachnids and insects also serve as foods for the finger monkey.
These animals live in groups having 5 to 9 members with 1 to 2 male and female adult monkeys. The female gives birth twice a year and usually twins are born, all the group members support each other in bringing up the babies. The young finger monkeys stay in the group for two birth cycles occurring consecutively. These monkeys communicate using vocal and physical signals. Usually to communicate over a short distance finger monkeys trill. For a medium distance J-call technique is used, where repeated fast notes are made by the caller. To make the family aware of danger a sharp whistle is made.
Ok now let’s get down to business!
- How much a finger monkey would cost you? When you are planning to buy one keep a budget of $1500 to $5000 in your mind. The price of the monkey will vary according to the age and physical condition of the monkeys, not to forget the price also depends on the breeder who is selling the monkey.
- Log on to DomesticSale.com, here you can find finger monkeys ranging from $1800 to $3,000. The site allows breeders to post their animals for sale and gives you an opportunity to buy them.
- Once you have bought the monkey now let’s focus on the additional charges for keeping a pet like a finger monkey. You’ll need to feed it foods such as fruits, flower nectars, insects and even smaller lizards (gross!). The food would cost you $35 to $75 per month (that’s reasonable enough).
- As we have mentioned earlier that these monkeys are social animals, it is highly recommended that you buy at least two of them. Don’t buy monkeys with opposite sex in order to avoid reproduction. But if you are a breeder then make sure you get a couple.
- So how will these monkeys reach your door step? Of course you will have to pay additional charges for the shipment. Now the shipment fee varies from $100 to $300 through an airline, also charges vary according to the place of your dwelling.
- You will also need some additional information regarding how these monkeys should be handled. By joining a proper training class you would be able to look after your pets more efficiently.
What would be included in your monkey package?
- Once you have paid the money you will get a cute little monkey with a body covered with black or tan fur. Some have furs like that of a lion mane (now you know why it is called tiny lion). The underbelly area of this monkey is white in color. Almost forgot to mention the almond shaped innocent eyes.
- Once the finger monkey will grip and hug your finger tightly the bond will be made for ever, you will instantly fall in love with this little creature.
- There are chances that when you will buy one, it will be equal to 5 inches but this size wont remain forever. Within 2 years time it will reach adulthood and the size of the body will also increase up to 12 inches.
- Usually you will get a 3 months health guaranty if you will buy it from a well reputed breeder, along with food, toys and training guide.
- There is a possibility that you may have to toilet train your finger monkey and even need diapers for them (we hope you might find diapers that small).
Things to ensure before buying one
- In many states keeping a finger monkey as a pet may be illegal. So always check your state law policies regarding pets like monkeys, because your pet monkey can be the reason for your own imprisonment.
- Before buying one please make sure that you get it from an authentic breeder and kindly ensure that it is good in shape and does not have any kind of disease.
How long your monkey lives would totally depend on you. If you take good care of your pet its life span may range from 15 to 25 years. Overall these complex animals need a lot of care and attention.