Small monkeys are cute to look at. Some can even be kept as pets.

Scientists claim that their tiny bodies are adapted to moving in small spaces, escaping from large predators, camouflaging their bodies, reducing food consumption and energy use.

Small monkeys can also be kept as pets in some states.

In this article, we will examine various breeds of small monkeys and some of their characteristics.

1. Tarsiers

The Tarsier is a breed with an intense look due to the large yellow eyes that seem like they’re popping out of their minute heads.

These eyes are open wide.

The size of the monkey magnifies the size of its eyes.

Actually, they can grow to just about 5 inches with an enormous tail that triples their size.

2. Cammon Marmosets 

Marmosets can be kept as pets in some states. They are natives of Brazil.

There are 22 breeds of this species. They are generally 7-9 inches long. Their nails are adapted into claws.

Marmosets are categorized as part of the New World monkeys said to have flat noses.

These monkeys live and move in groups of 20 monkeys.

These groups can contain up to 2/3 family generations of monkeys.

Cammon Marmosets can grow to 8 inches and weigh 9 ounces.

These are found in tropical regions of Central and South America.

This breed is extremely playful and affectionate while young.

3. Pygmy Marmosets

Pygmy Marmosets are also known as finger monkeys because they are tiny.

This species looks like small birds and could be mistaken for small owls.

Their intense look is perpetrated by their sharp eye corners and the way their hair leans back from the face. They also look to be very curious.

This breed forms the tiniest monkeys in the world as they are only mature to 6 inches / 16 Centimeters. These marmosets weigh 3.5-4.5 ounces.

Pygmy marmosets can be found in the Amazon basin.

The pygmy can turn their necks and heads entirely backward to keep watch of their environment.

Pygmy marmosets can also be kept as pets but require a lot of care.

In addition, they also develop into very aggressive creatures as they age.

Pygmy marmosets are very social and prefer the company of their families and packs.  

4. Squirrel monkey

These breeds can be found in tropical forests of South and Central South America.

There are five types of Squirrel monkeys. They all have short hair on their bodies. They can grow up to 14 inches or 35 centimeters.

The tails are weirdly long and hairy.

The grey fur on their bodies and a yellow streak on the tail and arms makes them appear unique.

Some groups are known to consist of up to 500 members!

The squirrel monkey is said to be intelligent with a brain more extensive than its body.

5. Spider monkey

Most spider monkey breeds are said to be endangered. Currently, there exist 14 subspecies.

They, too, live in Central and South America.

They can grow up to 33 inches or 85 centimeters.

6. White-Faced Sakis

The most common species of the Saki family have an auspicious white face and a highly long nose. They grow up to 20 inches / 50 centimeters.

White-faced Sakis have 16 subspecies and dominantly live in the rain forests of Central America and sometimes go to land.

They stay and live on trees while eating fruits, insects, leaves, and flowers.

7. Howler Monkeys

Howler monkeys have 15 subspecies. The species can reach heights of 36 inches or 91 centimeters and have round snout-like noses.

They use their tails to move on trees, pick their food and carry the body weight.

They mainly eat fruits and nuts. Howler monkeys live in groups of up to 20 members.

There is little or no competition for dominancy among the male species, and it thus can be seen that most packs have a good number of males.

Howler monkeys are friendly but can have feuds once in a while, which is a bit harmful if not stopped.

8. Gibbons

Gibbons monkeys are small monkeys with over 50 subspecies.


Some are endangered, and some have even gone extinct.

They are about 30 – 35 inches/80-85 centimeters tall.

Gibbons monkeys are social and can be found in many zoos.

They can scream as loud as humans due to their loud voices.

9. Macaques

This type of monkey has 27 subspecies.

They grow between 16-28 Inches in height (40-71cm).

Their genetic composition is close to that of most animals and humans, which makes them suitable lab testers for products for man.

Their clones have also been used for other lab tests.

Macaques have no problem living close to men.

They can be categorized under old-world monkeys.

Macaques mainly consume fruits, insects, leaves, and flowers of plants.

Those that live close to civilization can be seen eating leftovers.

This species can be found in tropical rainforest areas of India, Asia, Sri Lanka, and the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Most macaques live for 25-29 years.

This monkey is also kept as a pet in some countries.

10. Guenons 

Guenon Has a height of 15-25 inches and is divided into 26 species.

Their bodies are covered in soft fur that is reddish, green, brown, and yellow.

This color blend makes them gorgeous creatures.

They have a small cute nose. The nose takes a short and round shape.

This breed will be found in west Africa. They mainly feed on vegetation and fruits.

Furthermore, these species may also sometimes consume small rodents and insects.

Also, guenons have long legs and arms adapted to their tree habitat.

The monkeys live in groups led by a single male. There are no other males within these groups.

In good conditions, they may live for more than twenty years.

11. Vervet Monkeys

The vervet monkey is native to South Africa. This breed has five subspecies.

They mainly consume plants and other vegetation. In addition, Vervet monkeys grow to a maximum of 20 inches / 50 centimeters.

They move in groups for safety and socializing.

The groups help them take care of the young ones.

Scientists discovered that the cries of the young monkeys are so distinct that the mothers use them to identify the young ones.

12. Capuchin Monkeys

This breed contains 20 subspecies.

They are popular and have been seen featured in some movies and television series.

Capuchin monkeys are submissive and look cute too.

Capuchin monkeys can be found in South and Central America.

They can grow up to 22 inches / 56 cm.

These monkeys are also brilliant, a fact that makes tv actors cooperate efficiently with them.

This breed can live for more than 35 years.

13. Golden Lion Tamarin

This monkey breed has yellow fur that makes it look like a lion. 

They are found in the rainforests of Central America.

Golden Lion Tamarin monkeys move with great agility and speed.

The type also lives in groups of up to 45 members. They primarily feed on insects and fruits.

A notable species would be the red-handed tamarin with tiny hands and bright colors.

The look in its eyes and the pointy ears inspired the Gremlins movies.

This species can live for 18 years. They mostly grow to 12 inches.

They are an endangered species with less than 1500 left in existence in the wild currently.

14. Night Monkeys

Night monkeys can also be called owl monkeys.

They are about 25 inches tall / 65 centimeters.

There are currently only two known subspecies of this breed.

They have big brown eyes that enable them to see at night since they are nocturnal. 

Their eyes do not glow like most nocturnal creatures. 

They are mainly found in central and south of America.

15. Titi Monkeys

Titi monkeys are about 22 inches / 56 cm tall. They are divided into six subspecies, 3 of which are extinct.

They also have long furry tails and coats with many different colors.

The number has, however, doubled due to conservation efforts.

New species are also being discovered in the Amazon forests.


1. Can I keep a small monkey as a pet?

In the United States, keeping wild animals and pets is restricted according to state laws.

However, some states may permit you to keep some animals as pets under specific conditions and approval.

Furthermore, some counties and townships may have even stricter laws on the same.

Therefore, you should first consult a specialist before deciding to keep a monkey.

2. What factors should I consider when purchasing a monkey for a pet?

You should pick a small breed of monkey as they will be easy to care for.

It’s also essential to ensure you follow guidelines from the state or local county when caring for the pet.

In addition, take into account the amount of food required by each kind of monkey.

Some eat a lot while others consume less food. Some types also eat throughout the day. 

Since some breeds are social, it may be helpful to pair them up with their kind to avoid them feeling lonely.

It’s also good to take into consideration that some monkeys cannot be trained to wear diapers.

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