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Animal Facts

  • Genus:

    Saguinus
  • Species:

    S. oedipus
  • Conservation
    Status:

    Critically Endangered

  • Found In:

    Columbia
  • Length:

    20-25cm
  • Weight:

    430g

Meet our cheeky monkeys!

Adelaide Zoo is home to a family group of Cotton-top Tamarins consisting of two males and three females.

Dominant male Tomo was born at Mogo Zoo on 14 December 2003 and moved to Adelaide in 2006 to be paired with our resident female Wednesday. Tomo has been a great father and had many offspring over his years at Adelaide, including Gomez and Morticia.

Wednesday was born at Taronga Zoo on 5 September 2004 and came to Adelaide in 2006 to be paired with Tomo. She’s very friendly and easily distinguished from the others by her smaller curved tail.

Morticia, the youngest daughter of the tamarin troop, was born on 29 September 2010. She’s quiet and shy, but does love her lunch fruit feeds. A favourite pastime of hers is stealing any food from the birds that the tamarin troop shares their home with.

Gomez, the son of Tomo and Wednesday, was born on 20 January 2010. His favourite treat is sultanas, which zoo keepers give out every morning when they first check on the group. He is joined by female Peppa, who was born at Halls Gap Zoo in 2015 and arrived to Adelaide Zoo in September 2020. It’s hoped these two will welcome the pitter-patter of tiny tamarin toes in the future!

Cotton-top Tamarins are very easy to recognise with the large white crest of hair on their heads. They live in family groups where only the dominant pair breeds. The dominant female uses a pheromone to prevent the other females in the family from breeding with twins being a regular occurrence in tamarin society. After birth the entire family will help carry and care for the young.

In the wild their diets usually consist of insects and plant materials such as fruit, leaves and gums. Here at the zoo we make sure they have a balanced diet of fruit, vegetables and insects, and a special primate “cake” to ensure they receive all the vitamins and minerals they need.

Cotton-top Tamarins are a critically endangered species with around 6,000 left in the lowland forests of Colombia, the only place in the world they are now found.

Love Cotton-top Tamarins? Join our troop and ensure tamarins stay a swing ahead of extinction! There are many ways you can help support these amazing animals. 

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About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction.

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