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In Photos: Adorable Marmoset Monkeys Learn to Solve Banana Puzzle

Social creatures

Social marmosets

(Image credit: Tina Gunhold)

The common marmoset is a social monkey that lives in Brazil. They form small family groups and have a defined territory. Parents, aunts, uncles and older siblings all help to raise the young.

Miniature theater

marmoset theater

(Image credit: Tina Gunhold)

The researchers set up a compartment with a laptop screen in 12 family group territories in the Brazilian forest. Once the marmosets became familiar with the box, the researchers showed the monkeys either a video or a still-image of a marmoset opening a box.

Movie time

Marmosets watching movie

(Image credit: Tina Gunhold)

The wild marmosets watched the video or saw the still-image before they encountered the box with a banana sitting inside.

Instructional video

Marmoset instructional video

(Image credit: Tina Gunhold)

A wild marmoset watches an unfamiliar female marmoset pull open a drawer to get a banana prize.

How-to basics

Marmoset how-to basics

(Image credit: Tina Gunhold)

With the clear box in front of it, a wild marmoset watches another marmoset open the box and grab a banana treat inside of it.

Banana success

banana marmoset

(Image credit: Tina Gunhold)

A wild marmoset eats a banana after pulling open the drawer on a puzzle box. It's possible that the marmoset learned how to open the box after watching a video of another marmoset do the same thing.


Marmoset peeking

(Image credit: Tina Gunhold)

A wild marmoset pokes its head outside of the compartment used in the social learning experiment. The study helps researchers understand how marmosets may learn from one another in the wild.