Cotton Top Tamarin

AnimaliaPrimatesCallitrichidaeSaguinusSaguinus oedipus
Cotton-top Tamarin
IUCN Status: Critically-Endangered
  • Common Name: Cotton-top Tamarin
  • Taxonomy Classification Year: 1758
  • Monkey Size: 20.8 to 25.9 cm (8.2 to 10.2 in)
  • Skin Color(s): Brown
  • Habitat: Forest, rainforest, scrub forest
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Native Countries: Colombia

Cotton-top Tamarin Distribution

Cotton-Top Tamarin Characteristics

Cotton Top Tamarin

The cotton-top tamarin[1] is another small New-World primate found at the edge of tropical and secondary forests in northwestern Colombia.

  • Cotton-top tamarins are differentiated from other members of the Saguinus genus by a crest of long, whitish hair that runs from the forehead to the nape of the neck and flows down the shoulders.
  • Their back is brown, and the undersides of the legs and arms are yellow to whitish.
  • The hindquarters and inner thighs are reddish-orange. Interestingly, the base of the tail is also reddish-orange, while the tip is blackish.
  • Features that distinguish callitrichids from other New World monkeys are modified claws instead of nails on all fingers and the presence of two molars instead of three on each side of the jaw.

Cotton-Top Tamarin Facts

Saguinus Oedipus

  • The common names “cotton-headed tamarin” and “cotton-top tamarin” are derived from the white hairs that spread across the head and flow down the neck.
  • When coming into contact with other groups, instead of physical contact, they threaten the other group by showing their buttocks and genitals as a territorial parade.
  • They live in groups of 1 to 19 individuals. These groups comprise a dominant bonded pair, their offspring of the year, and some subordinate or young individuals of either sex.
  • Males devote more effort to caring for the young than females. This is a unique relationship among Callitrichidae.
  • S. oedipus has an interesting trait consisting of food-associated calls that correlate with food preferences.

Suggested Reading: All Types of Monkeys

Cite This Page

BioExplorer.net. (2024, June 13). Cotton-Top Tamarin. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/cotton-top-tamarin/.
BioExplorer.net. "Cotton-Top Tamarin" Bio Explorer, 13 June 2024, https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/cotton-top-tamarin/.
BioExplorer.net. "Cotton-Top Tamarin" Bio Explorer, June 13 2024. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/cotton-top-tamarin/.
Key References
  • [1]“Cotton-top tamarin – Wisconsin National Primate Research Center – UW-Madison”. Accessed August 27, 2022. Link.


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