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Cottontop Tamarin (critically endangered) by jdmphotography

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This tamarin species has a long sagittal crest, white hairs from forehead to nape flowing over the shoulders (“Cottontop”). The back is brown, and the underparts, arms and legs are whitish-yellow. Rump and inner thighs are reddish-orange.

It is considered one of the bare-faced tamarins because of the lack of facial hair. Its lower canine teeth are longer than its incisors, so it seems as if it has small tusks. It is about the size of a squirrel and weighs 10-18 ounces. The males are only slightly larger than females. A medium Cottontop Tamarin weighs 432 g.Tamarins are among the smallest of the primates.

It moves from tree to tree by running or walking quadrupedally along horizontal branches and leaping as much as three meters between branches.[citation needed] It moves with quick, jerky movements. It is very alert and active. Claw-like nails help it to grip branches, since its small size and non-opposable fingers make encircling difficult. Long limbs and a long tail make it suited for jumping.

Its diet largely consists of insects, ripe fruit, seeds, nectar, and gum from trees that has oozed out. Other foods include some tender vegetation, spiders, small vertebrates, and bird’s eggs. Mice, frogs, birds and lizards are skillfully killed by a quick head bite, a learned behavior.

Up to the 1980s, the Cottontop Tamarin was thought to occur from Costa Rica south to northern Colombia. By 1992 it could be found only in northern Colombia. Significant exports for biomedical research contributed to the Cottontop Tamarin’s decline in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Currently, deforestation is the greatest threat.

Life span in captivity has been as high as 25 years whereas life span in the wild is about 13–16 years. The population is less than 1000 in the wild and about 1800 in captivity, and is continuing to decline.[citation needed] This species is endangered, having lost three-quarters of its original habitat to deforestation.[citation needed] Clearing of forest habitat by people is the main problem and populations also were depleted by taking them for the pet trade and for scientific research. They are now protected by international law, although they are numerous in captivity, they are still critically endangered in the wild.


  • jdmphotography
    jdmphotographyalmost 6 years ago


  • Rick  Friedle
    Rick Friedlealmost 6 years ago

    Great capture!

  • Susan Hudgens-Moore
    Susan Hudgens-...almost 6 years ago

    So cute! What a nice capture. Thank you for sharing this image of this lovely animal.

  • Thank you Susanah kind comments ! …….

    – jdmphotography

  • Gail Bridger
    Gail Bridgeralmost 6 years ago

    Beautiful little creature and a beautiful capture!! :)

  • Thank you Gail ………

    – jdmphotography

  • brirose55
    brirose55almost 6 years ago

    beautiful capture jon

  • Braedene
    Braedenealmost 6 years ago

    This is so cute – what a great capture – love his cheeky wee face. Great info too. Liz

  • solareclips~Julie  Alexander
    solareclips~Ju...almost 6 years ago

  • Thanks so much julie for the feature of my work the Cottontop Tamarin you have such a wonderful group ! …….. (-:

    – jdmphotography

  • Brian Carey
    Brian Careyalmost 6 years ago

    Great shot!

  • mlynnd
    mlynndalmost 6 years ago

    Great close up.

  • jdmphotography
    jdmphotographyalmost 6 years ago


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