Cotton-top Tamarin

Saguinus oedipus

Luscious Locks

The cotton-top tamarin is easily recognized by the crest of white fur from the nape flowing over their shoulders. Their backs are covered in brown or black fur while their under parts are white. About the size of a squirrel, they weigh under a pound and are about 9 inches long.

About the Species

The cotton-top tamarin is one of the endangered primates in the world.

Cotton-top tamarins gain an endangered status from issues with deforestation for agricultural purposes and from the pet trade. Proyecto Titi, started in 1985 by Dr. Ann Savage, is working to raise public awareness of the plight of cotton-top tamarins. The organization works closely with the native Colombians to help save the critically endangered primate through opportunities for the communities to learn and get involved with conservation through field research, community programs, and assessments of habitat. Cotton-top tamarins live in large family groups. Older siblings help care for younger babies, a process called alloparenting. This helps them develop skills they will need in raising their own family, in addition to relieving some of mom's stress!

Words From the Experts

Quotes

Cotton-top tamarins can get pregnant as quick as 10 days after giving birth.

Kara

Did You Know?

Cotton top tamarins live in family groups of two to thirteen individuals with older siblings helping to care for the babies. This is called alloparenting.

Facts

Origin

Colombia

Habitat

Humid and dry tropical forest

Size

417 g (0.8 oz or 0.9 lbs)and 23 cm (9 inches) from head to tail

Diet

Fruit, plants, nectar, gums, insects, frogs, and lizards

Predators

Birds of prey, snakes

Natural Defenses

Cotton-top tamarins vocalize using 38 distinct sounds to communicate with their family group and defend their territory.

Reproduction

Usually give birth to twins with a gestation period of 140 days

Status

Critically Endangered

Life Expectancy

13 years

  • Saving Animals From Extinction
  • Culture Builds Florida
  • Florida Association of Zoos and Aquariums
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