At 15 years old, a marmoset named Iris has given birth to a baby at a Wisconsin zoo.
This makes her the oldest marmoset to have successfully bred in the U.S., according to a Sept. 15 Facebook post from the Henry Vilas Zoo.
The baby Geoffroy’s marmoset made its historic appearance in August, the zoo said. Since then, the “squirrel-like monkey” has been well taken care of by its family.
Not only does Iris hold her baby, but father Miguel and big brother Pip take turns too, the zoo said.
“The family has been doing such a good job of taking care of the baby that we don’t know the sex yet,” zoo staff said. “We have been doing visual checks on both mom and baby, as well as closely monitoring the family but there has been no need to remove the baby for a medical check.”
It is normal for father marmosets to carry their offspring “non-stop for two weeks” after their birth, according to the zoo. Other males will also help raise babies in their pack.
Marmosets are small primates — they’re typically about 8 inches in length and weigh about 10 ounces, the zoo said.
These “distinct monkeys” — also called Geoffrey’s marmosets — are native to Brazil’s lowland rainforests and can easily be identified, according to experts.
“You’ll know a Geoffroy’s marmoset when you see one!” the zoo said. They have white facial fur and dark ear tufts — and unlike most primates, they have claws.
“Scientists believe they evolved to take advantage of an insect diet, which has contributed to their small size,” the zoo said.
Marmosets are social creatures that typically live in big groups with a dominant female, experts said, and they’re one of the only monkey species that commonly give birth to twins.
The marmoset life span is typically 10 years, according to the zoo. Their conservation status is of “least concern.”
Henry Vilas Zoo is in Madison.
If you visit the zoo, you might be able to see the baby marmoset by looking for “a black dot on the back of the adult marmosets.”