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Year of the 'Thumb Monkey'? Meet China's Adorable New Pet Craze

© AP Photo / Eckehard SchulzA ten-day old marmoset clutches the finger of zoo keeper Manuela Werner in the zoo in Wittenberg, eastern Germany, on Friday, April 23, 2004.
A ten-day old marmoset clutches the finger of zoo keeper Manuela Werner in the zoo in Wittenberg, eastern Germany, on Friday, April 23, 2004. - Sputnik International
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Looking for that unique Lunar New Year gift for the special Chinese millionaire in your life? Look no further than this (illegal, and ridiculously cute) pet “thumb monkey”!

Skype conversation between Valery Spiridonov and Sergio Canavero - Sputnik International
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This is the year of the monkey, after all.

The pygmy marmoset, listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's red list of endangered species, is flying off the shelves in China, though it is illegal to sell the adorable exotic pet.  Nonetheless, it goes for around $4,500, according to the People's Daily Online.

The world's smallest monkey can be easily lifted with a single human finger, as its weight is no more than 4.9 ounces (114 grams), with a body size ranging from 5.5 inches (14 cm) to 6.3 inches (16 cm).

Pygmy marmosets are native to the South American rainforests of the Western Amazon Basin.

One owner known as Chen posted photos of his new pet, smaller than a mouse, to his Weibo account, writing "Snow skin leopards and red-crowned cranes have nothing on my New Year's gift. Please meet Xiao Shen."

Thanks to its size and undeniable charm, the tiny animals have become very popular among the wealthy in China.

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