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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 most 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 educational opportunities such 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


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



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.


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Humid and dry tropical forest

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0.8–0.9 lbs | 9 inches from head to tail

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

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Birds of prey, snakes

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Natural Defenses

Have 38 vocalizations to communicate and defend their territory

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

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Critically Endangered

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Life Expectancy

13 years

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