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Chester Zoo welcomes the birth of twin pygmy marmoset monkeys

The pygmy marmoset monkeys were born 4 weeks ago at Chester Zoo. Photo: Chester Zoo

Staff at Chester Zoo are celebrating after a pygmy marmoset, the world's smallest species of monkey, gave birth to twins.

Weighing just 15 grammes, the babies were born at the end of July but are only now big enough for visitors to spot.

The month-old pygmy marmosets, born to mum Audrey and dad Gumi, will only be 13cm long when fully grown.

Although the babies were tiny, they are relatively large, equating to around 10% of their mother's weight.

Eastern pygmy marmosets are found in the rainforests of South America and are under threat from wildlife loss and people trapping them for pets.

Dr Nick Davis, deputy curator of mammals at the zoo, said:

“Pygmy marmosets actually have relatively large babies for their tiny size. An adult will only weigh up to around 150 grams and so each baby equates to around 10% of its body weight.

“After giving the babies their regular feeds, mum Audrey, like all other female Eastern pygmy marmosets, steps aside while dad takes on the parental chores.

“The youngsters can therefore often be seen being carried by dad Gumi for long periods of time as mum takes a well-deserved break.”

– Dr Nick Davis, Deputy Curator of Mammals at the zoo