Cotton-Top Tamarin - Saguinus oedipus
It is found in tropical forest edges and secondary forests where it is arboreal.
Live only in Colombia
The Cottontop Tamarin is most active between sunrise and sunset, it spends a large portion of its activity time foraging for animal prey, searching through leaves and along branches, and peering and reaching into holes and crevices in branches and tree trunks.
This tamarin species has a long sagittal crest, white hairs from forehead to nape flowing over the shoulders ("Cottontop"). The back is brown, and the underparts, arms and legs are whitish-yellow. Rump and inner thighs are reddish-orange.
About the size of a squirrel. Head and body run 8-11 inches with a tail 12-17 inches. Weight 14-15 oz in the wild, 20-25 oz in capacity
Groups of Cottontop Tamarins usually include 3–9 individuals.
Its diet largely consists of insects, ripe fruit, seeds, nectar, and gum from trees that has oozed out. Other foods include some tender vegetation, spiders, small vertebrates, and bird's eggs. Mice, frogs, birds and lizards are skillfully killed by a quick head bite, a learned behavior.
Like most tamarins, the Cottontop Tamarin usually gives birth to twins, although single births and triplets happen occasionally. Tamarins reproduce year round with a gestation of 183 days. Both parents care for the young. Males and juveniles usually carry the young, giving them to the females for nursing. Weaning begins at four to five weeks and youngsters reach sexual maturity at 12 to 15 months. Easrly infant care taking is important because parental care is not instinctual. There is typically only 1 reproductively active male and female couple, this is the dominant couple in the group. The dominant female will urine wash branches and surrounding materials with phermones that will inhibit cycling in other females so only she will give birth.
The population is less than 1000 in the wild and about 1800 in captivity, and is continuing to decline. They are listed as critically endangered with IUCN, endangered with USFWS, and are in "Appendix I" of CITES. AZA also cooperatively manages this species as a A Species Survival Plan.
- It moves from tree to tree by running or walking quadrupedally along horizontal branches and leaping as much as three meters between branches.
- They are among the smallest of primates.
- When alarmed or excited, Cottontop Tamarins raise the hair on the crown of their head and stand up tall to make themselves look bigger.
- Babies are born with their eyes open, covered in fur and have a short mane.
- Claws help the tamarins grip branches, since their fingers are small and non-opposable.
AZA cooperatively manages this species as a Species Survival Plan® Program.
- Adult (13 and over)$9.00
- Children (3 - 12)$5.25
- Children (2 and under)Free
- Seniors (65+)$8.00
We begin transferring animals to evening (off exhibit) holding at 4:30 each night.
Open Daily 10:00-5:00
Last admission at 4:30