Cotton-headed Tamarin
Saguinus oedipus

CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Primates
FAMILY: Callithricidae

Body length approximately 1 foot

Caribbean coast of Columbia, South America

Warm humid regions / rainforests

Wild - Fruits, vegetables, frogs, mice, small birds, and lizards
Zoo - Fruits, vegetables insects


  • Very agile; can leap through trees jumping 10 feet
  • Hunting seems to be instinctive behavior; many times one tamarin in family unit will hunt and others will stay behind
  • Monogamous creatures -- dominant male breeds with family member to produce 1 - 2 offspring
  • Male serves as primary care giver; newborn leaves male only for nursing
  • Natural groups of 8 - 12 members and the dominant male member rules the group by facial expression, calls or erection of mane.

  • Characterized by large snow-white mane, which is erected when animal is in state of excitement or display.
    CITES App. I; ENDANGERED due to pet trade and habitat destruction