Micke Grove Zoo

SJGOV.org - How can we serve you today?

Visit S.J. County Parks & Recreation Website

Cotton-top Tamarin
Saguinus oedipus

  • Habitat: Tropical moist and dry deciduous forests
  • Range: North-west Columbia
  • Natural Diet: Fruit, insects, seeds, flowers, tree sap, small mammals, birds and reptiles
  • Status in the Wild: THREATENED


Fun facts

  • Cotton top tamarins belong to a class which has the smallest primates in the world
  • They make high pitched alarm calls when a predator is seen
  • They have a unique tuft of white hair on top of their heads that looks like cotton
  • They most often have twin young but on occasion, a single infant is born
  • Both males and females participate in taking care of their infants


Cotton top tamarins are omnivorous and are given a variety of fruit choices in their diet including slices of watermelon

Conservation Threats

The major threats are:

  • Habitat loss due to human encroachment, agricultural practices, and livestock grazing.
  • Logging for wood and the construction of dams

They are endemic to the tropical rainforest habitat found in fragmented stretches along the northwestern part of Colombia


Cotton-top Tamarin Cotton-top tamarins' have white mane that looks like a ball of cotton

Multiple types of enrichment are administered to stimulate the display of natural species-specific behavior

Map Distributional range: Cotton top tamarins are only found in a narrow area in the coastal tropical rainforest habitat in Colombia in South America