Cottontop Tamarin

By: Skyler Taten

Classification Order:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Primates

Family: Callitrichide

Genus: Saguinus

Species: S.oedipus

Evolutionary Relationships:

The cotton top tamarin has many close relatives including:

  • Red-handed Tamarin
  • Golden Lion Tamarin
  • Pied Tamarin
  • Emperor Tamarin
  • Pygmy Marmoset


The Cottontop Tamarin is found in the tropical forests of South America, Costa Rica, and north west to Columbia.

  • Live in lowland tropical forests and the tree tops

Type of Diet

  • Fruit is their favorite food
  • Will eat fruits, insects, and small rodents
  • Eats reptile eggs and tree sap

Social Interactions

  • Very social in their troops (living groups)
  • Troops range from 2-14 primates
  • Usually breeds between April and July
  • Females and males both equally help out with raising the infants


The cotton top tamarin moves by grasping their small feet around tree branches for support and using all four legs to move up and down the tree branches. They can also hop from one tree to another to easily move around.

Endangered Status

  • Critically Endangered

Size and Weight

Size (L): 18cm - 30cm (7in - 12in)

Weight: 220g - 900g (7.7oz - 32oz)


  • Diurnal primate (active during the day, rest in treetops at night)
  • Live in troops and are very social

Predators and Prey

Predators: Hawks, Snakes, and Wild Cats

Humans are also one of their big predators due to deforestation

  • To defend against their predators they use the trees around them to jump from and climb to the treetops to escape

Prey: insects and small rodents (mice, squirrels, etc.)

Fun facts!

  1. The lifespan of a cotton top tamarin is 8-15 years
  2. Their fur can be colored black, white, tan, brown, or a mix between these colors
  3. They can reach up to a top speed of 24 mph
  4. Current population estimated to be around 6,000
  5. Main reason to such critical status is because they have lost their habitats from deforestation.
  6. Do not have opposable thumbs or prehensile tail
  7. Average litter size for females to have is 2 infants
  8. Received name from the white fur surrounding its head and shoulders

Cottontop Tamarin Howl

Below is a video that shows what a cotton top tamarin's howl sounds like when they are communicating to their mates and family members of their troops

  • Cottontop Tamarins can communicate with 30 different distinct calls!

randomest noise ever heard (Cotton Top Tamarin)