A pair of baby monkey twins are looking forward to their first Christmas at Tynemouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium.
The tiny marmoset monkeys, who are nearly three-months-old, are both doing extremely well and becoming more playful, inquisitive and curious each day.
Keepers are providing them with a series of festive-themed gifts and, on Christmas Day itself, they will get their favourite treat gum and lots of new toys to play with.
Blue Reef’s Rosie Wiggin said: “They are just about fully weaned now and they eat chicken, and pellets as well as fruit and they absolutely love gum.
“They are still trying to figure out how to eat waxworms and mealworms as they are a bit more fiddly to get hold of.
“Both of them love playing with each other and they like new objects to explore – such as the Christmas baubles.
“They still run to Miko their dad every now and then though if they are unsure about anything.
“They’re too big for him to carry them around on his back as they each weigh around 115 grams compared to when they were born when they weighed less than 40 grams each.
“They both have different personalities, with the slightly bigger one being a bit more confident in new situations, and the smaller one following suit soon after.
“They are both very cheeky and have been caught stealing food out of their dad’s mouth.”
As they grow they are starting to get the white ear tufts that are one of the key identifying features of common marmosets.
The aquarium’s Amazing Amazon is home to a colony of three different types of New World monkeys; common and black-tailed marmosets and cotton top tamarins.
All the monkeys have been rescued after being found living in unsuitable conditions while others have been made homeless after their owners could no longer look after them.
At Blue Reef their spacious, naturally-themed enclosures provide them with plenty to keep them busy including rope swings, climbing frames and an ever-changing programme of environmental enrichment features.