Cotton-top Tamarin

Scientific name:  Saguinus oedipus
Class:  Mammals
Continent:  Africa
Habitat:  Tropical forest
Diet:  Herbivorous
Weight:  Up to 13.6 kg
Size:  Up to 66 cm (body)
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These very distinctive small primates are extremely vocal. They use almost 40 different sounds to communicate with each other and their young. They have 1 or 2 offspring per year and can live up to 15 in the wild and 25 in captivity. Natural predators include hawks and snakes.

However, one of the biggest threats to the survival of this critically endangered species is the pet trade. Due to their small size and “cuteness”, they are thought to be the ideal primate pet. In 2014, two cotton-tops were stolen in a targeted raid on the Zoo. Fortunately, they were found and returned but the 3 month old baby of one of the pair was lost. 

They do need very specialist care and a controlled diet, so do not make good pets. Their diet at the Zoo comprises fruit, vegetables, seeds and marmoset jelly. Special treats include rice and mealworms.

Conservation status
Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated

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