Callimico goeldiiGoeldi's marmoset(Also: Goeldi's monkey)

Geographic Range

Located between 1 degree north and 13 degrees south latitude in the northern Amazon forests, Callimico goeldii can be found in southern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, western Brazil, and northern Bolivia. BR

(Burton 1987; Nowak 1999; Pook 1990; Thornback and Jenkins 1982)


Pook (1990) reports that Callimico goeldii inhabit areas of the Amazon rainforest that have patchy canopy cover and strong undergrowth. Thornback and Jenkins (1982) describe it as "shabby forest such as mixed forest, scrub, second-growth woods, bamboo forests, and forest with discontinuous canopies and well-developed scrub. The majority of their time is spent at levels of less than 5 meters with forays to higher elevations for fruit.<BR>

(Pook 1990; Thornback and Jenkins 1982)

Physical Description

According to a study by Hershkovitz (1977), Callimico goeldii are small with a length of 210-234 mm, and a tail length of 255-324 mm. They are dark brown or black with possible white areas on and around the face. Longer hairs form "a mane [that] drapes from the neck and shoulders and extend also from above the base of the tail" (Nowak 1999). Adults have pale rings on the tail. Other characteristics include clawlike nails on all of the digits excluding the large toe and a dental formula of 2/2, 1/1, 3/3, 3/3.<BR>

(Hershkovitz 1977; Nowak 1999; Pook 1990)

  • Range mass
    393 to 860 g
    13.85 to 30.31 oz


Female Callimico goeldii normally give birth to single offspring. Females are polyestrous and the estrous cycle averages 23 days with a duration of one week. Gestation averages around 155 days allowing multiple births within a year. Young reach sexual maturity as early as 14 months of age and have been observed in captivity to live at long as 18 years.

(Burton 1987; Nowak 1999: Pook 1990; Ross 1991)

  • Breeding interval
    Females may breed twice per year.
  • Average number of offspring
  • Average number of offspring
  • Average gestation period
    155 days
  • Average gestation period
    153 days
  • Average weaning age
    12 weeks
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
    14 months
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
    Sex: female
    365 days
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
    14 months
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
    Sex: male
    395 days

Young weigh 30-60 grams and nurse for 12 weeks. At 4 weeks of age, the young are able to ingest solid food given by adults, and at 7 weeks of age, the young begin to forage. The mother carries the young for the first 2 weeks. During the third week, the father carries the young, while in the fourth week, responsibility for carrying young is taken up by the entire group.

  • Parental Investment
  • pre-fertilization
    • provisioning
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-hatching/birth
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-weaning/fledging
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • male
      • female
  • pre-independence
    • protecting
      • male
      • female
  • extended period of juvenile learning



Callimico goeldii generally stay within 5 meters of the forest floor and travel to higher elevations in order to obtain fruit. They sleep close together "in dense underbrush or in a hollow tree" (Pook 1990). They also rest in a dense group roughly 3 times per day at an elevation of less than 2 meters in "dense brush or on inclined trunks of fallen trees" (Pook 1990). Resting periods average 30 to 90 minutes, where Goeldi's monkeys may sun bath or groom.<BR><BR>

Callimico goeldii are vertical climbers and leapers. They leap from one tree, turn in flight, and grab their target. Pook (1990) has reported that they can "leap a distance of about 13 ft (4 m) horizontally without losing height; and this was done only about 12 in. (30 cm) above the ground." He also reports that this is a very silent method of travel, disturbing little vegetation. Callimico goeldii travel roughly 2 km per day in a circular pattern and within a territory of 30-80 hectacres.<BR><BR>

Callimico goeldii exhibit extensive social communication through vocalizations, scent, facial, and body language. Vocalizations include long distance cries that are effective over 100 meters and ultrasonic sounds. Scent glands on the stomach are used when they "stretch their limbs, arch their backs, and thrust the coiled tail under their body, moving it back and forth over the ventral surface, which is thereby moistened with urine and scents" (Pook 1990).<BR>

(Nowak 1999; Pook 1990; Thornback and Jenkins 1982)

Communication and Perception

Food Habits

The diet of Callimico goeldii consists primarily of fruits, insects, and small vertebrates. A group of Goeldi's monkeys will travel and feed in fruiting trees. Competition for fruit seems not to be a problem. They hunt individually, leaping to the ground to obtain small verebrates.<BR>

(Pook 1990)

  • Animal Foods
  • insects
  • Plant Foods
  • fruit

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Because they are rare and internationally protected, poachers, particularly in Bolivia, are able to sell Callimico goeldii for large profits on the black market. BR

(Pook 1990)

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative


Conservation Status

Callimico goeldii are listed as Appendix I under CITES, therefore commercial import and export has been banned. This is not well enforced in Bolivia. Loss of habitat and dangers from hunting and trapping are severely threatening Callimico goeldii populations. They seem to do well under captive conditions, and are housed in a number of zoos worldwide with highly successful breeding programs at the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust (GB) and the Brookfield Zoo (Chicago).<BR>

(Pook 1990; Thornback and Jenkins 1982; Wilson and Reeder 1993;)


Nick Paschka (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor), Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.



living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.

World Map


Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate


animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.


forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.


offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).


having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.


an animal that mainly eats all kinds of things, including plants and animals


rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.

scrub forest

scrub forests develop in areas that experience dry seasons.


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female


associates with others of its species; forms social groups.


uses touch to communicate


defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement


reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.


Burton, J. 1987. The Collins Guide to the Rare Mammals of the World. Lexington, Massachusetts: The Stephen Greene Press.

Hershkovitz, P. 1977. Living New World Monkeys. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press.

Pook, G. 1990. Goeldi's Monkey. Pp. 178-182 in S Parker, ed. Grzimek's Encylcopedia of Mammals. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co..

Ross, C. 1991. Life History Patterns of New World Monkeys. Jounal of Primatology, 12: 481-502.

Thornback, J., M. Jenkins. 1982. The IUCN Mammal Red Data Book. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.

Wilson, D., D. Reeder. 1993. Mammal Species of the World. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.