Ike and Mike

Tiny black-eared marmoset twins Ike and Mike were the apples of their Daddy’s eye!
  • 1930s
  • 1940s

Marmosets are squirrel-sized monkeys with a penchant for bearing twins and the father toting them about on his back. In the 1930s, a pair of black-eared marmosets at the Zoo had two sons. True to form, the dad snatched them up soon after birth to carry them on his shoulders, reluctantly handing them back to their mother, one at a time, for nursing.

One day, zookeepers noticed the dad running frantically into the nest box and back out. They thought perhaps a snake had invaded the enclosure, but soon it was clear he was looking for one of his charges. Out of character, the mother had let the youngster rest against her after nursing, much to the dad’s consternation. A ZOONOOZ article described his reaction once he realized where the youngster was: “With a great deal of agitated chattering he rushed at her, literally dragged the baby off her back, tucked it snuggly up under his fur collar, and ran up onto the shelf.” Their dad doted over these twins—until the next set was born!

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