Tamarins

Tamarins can be distinguished from other monkeys of the New World by a few characteristic features. Tamarins are much smaller than other monkeys, have modified claws as opposed to nails, and have only two molar teeth on either side of each jaw as opposed to three, which is common for many other species of New World monkey. In addition, tamarins have short incisors and long canine teeth. Tamarins will also commonly give birth to twins.

Cotton Top Tamarin

Saguinus oedipus

Distribution: Forests of north-western Colombia

Diet in the Wild: Fruits, nectar, flowers, invertebrates, amphibians, snails

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Marmoset diet, various fruits, insects, eggs and vitamin C

IUCN Red List Status: Critically endangered, population decreasing

Threats: Habitat loss due to agricultural expansion and resource extraction; previously they have been removed from the wild for the pet trade

Interesting Facts:

Cotton top tamarins generally live in groups of between 2 and 9 individuals. During a given breeding season, generally only one female per group will breed.

The cotton top tamarin gets its common name from the tufts of cotton-white hair that protrude from its head and fall down around its neck.

Golden Lion Tamarin

Leontopithecus rosalia

Distribution: Forests near the Atlantic coast of the Brazilian state Rio de Janeiro

Diet in the Wild: Fruits, small invertebrates

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Marmoset diet, various fruits, insects, eggs and vitamin C

IUCN Red List Status: Endangered, population stable

Threats: Habitat fragmentation and loss, removal from the wild for the pet trade, limited ability for population growth due to fragmented habitat and low numbers of golden lion tamarins remaining in the wild

Interesting Facts:

The golden lion tamarin gets its common name from the brilliant golden-orange hair covering its body and the prominent mane that frames its face.

Golden lion tamarins will generally live in groups consisting of 4 to 8 individuals. Each group’s home range can span from 40 hectares to more than 100 hectares!

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