There has been, and continues to be, a dramatic shift in the human population towards older ages necessitating biomedical research aimed at better understanding the basic biology of aging and age-related diseases and facilitating new and improved therapeutic options. As it is not practical to perform the breadth of this research in humans, animal models are necessary to recapitulate the complexity of the aging environment. The mouse model is most frequently chosen for these endeavors, however, they are frequently not the most appropriate model. Non-human primates, on the other hand, are more closely related to humans and recapitulate the human aging process and development of age-related diseases. Extensive aging research has been performed in the well-characterized rhesus macaque aging model. More recently, the common marmoset, a small non-human primate with a shorter lifespan, has been explored as a potential aging model. This model holds particular promise as an aging disease model in part due to the successful creation of transgenic marmosets. Limitations to the use of non-human primates in aging research exist but can be mitigated somewhat by the existence of available resources supported by the National Institutes of Health. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Animal models of aging - edited by "Houtkooper Riekelt". Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.