Cotton Top Tamarin


Cotton Top Tamarin

Scientific Name

Saguinus Oedipus


The cotton top tamarin has a small body which is covered in thick fur. They are so-called ‘cotton topped’ because of the long white hair which flows like a mane from their heads and around their face.

Tamarins are excellent climbers. The claws on their fingers and toes allow them to climb trees with ease. They also use their long tails to help them balance.

Tamarins live in social groups of between 3 to 13 individuals. The group rely on one another for survival and can be very territorial if they come into contact with other groups. Tamarins scent mark their home ranges and will confront other groups of tamarins who come too close by making loud calls and fluffing up their fur to intimidate them.

Cotton top tamarins usually give birth to twins. The young are born helpless and so are carried everywhere for the first few weeks. The entire social group share responsibility for the care of new-born tamarins.


Tamarins are omnivores. In the wild, they mostly eat fruit, insects, vegetation, small vertebrates and bird eggs.

Size Fact

Cotton top tamarins usually weigh between 300-450g.

Food Fact

Tamarins drink the water that they need from leaves that are wet from the rain.

Fun Fact

There can be more than one adult female in a social group but only one female per group actually breeds.

IUCN Red list

Cotton top tamarins are classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN red list.

Where do I live?

Cotton top tamarins are native to South America.

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