Tamarins

Cotton Top Tamarin

Saguinus oedipus

Habitat: Lowland tropical rainforests of north central Columbia and Costa Rica

Diet in the wild: Fruits, eggs, insects, small vertebrates. Food preferences can be passed down to successive generations

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Marmoset diet, banana, orange, raisins, waxworms, apple, hard-boiled egg, monkey chow, crickets

Size: ½-almost 2 lbs.

Family: Live in family groups of 3-13 led by dominant pair

Status: Critically endangered

Did you know? Due to this tamarin’s endangered status, it is illegal to import the species into the United States.

This small monkey is an excellent climber, able to run like a squirrel through the upper canopy of the rainforest. With long limbs and tail to help it leap through the trees, this tiny primate can actually leap ten feet, tree-to-tree. The tamarin has claws on all digits, except for the big toe which has a broad, flat nail.

Golden Lion Tamarin

Leontopithecus rosalia

Habitat: South American rainforests of southeastern Brazil, preferring the upper canopy level of primary forests with plenty of vines and bromeliads

Diet in the wild: Insects and fruit. Will eat flowers, frogs, small lizards, snails, spiders, bird eggs and tree gum.

Size: 13-25 oz.

Family: Live in groups of 2-11 individuals. Will mate for life. Usually give birth to twins with both parents sharing care of young.

Status: Endangered

Did you know? Golden lion tamarin breeding programs in several zoos have led to successful reintroductions back to the wild.

The golden lion tamarin spends most of its time in trees, even sleeping in tree hollows and in the center of bromeliads. When active, this primate uses its long, narrow hands to reach into tree hollows to probe for insects all the while bobbing and turning its head to detect danger. Scientists have documented seventeen golden lion tamarin bird-like vocalizations—whines, clucks, trills, peeps, rasps and screeches.

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