Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Silvery Marmoset (Callithrix argenta)
Although they are getting to be more difficult to see, several varieities of monkeys are yet to be found at the Bosque. The most common is the silvery marmoset, a small, barefaced monkey with a very long dark colored tail. In years past, I used to count up to as many as 25 indiviuals in a family but today 10-12 seems to be the average. I see them around the museum building a lot because they are quite fond of the sap and resin of the tatapiririca tree (Tapirira guianensis). In the image to the left you can see one of the monkeys spread-eagle on the trunk of a tree full of holes dug by the buck-tooth canines of our little friends. They seem to prefer the sap of the tree but they also eat the resin, which is the hardened form of the liquid. Over the years I have seen several tatapiririca trees killed because of overfeeding on the part of large groups of silvery marmosets. Because of the dwindling numbers of wild animals at and near the Bosque, we may see fewer fallen trees in the future.