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photo: Shaked Buchbout
Name: Cotton-top tamarin
Scientific Name: Saguinus Oedipus
Global Conservation Status: Critically Endangeredc(CR)
In Israel: -
At the Zoo: a breeding group at the small animals building
In the Bible: monkeys appear in the bible only once: “Once every three years will a boat come from Tarshish, carrying gold and silver, ivory, monkeys, and parrots.” Kings 1, Chapter 10, Verse 22
Habitat and Distribution: spends its entire life among the treetops of the tropical rain forests of Columbia
Body Structure: body length including tail ranges between 53 to 67 cm, with a weight of approximately 430 grams. They are identifiable by their white furry manes which grow from their foreheads and over their shoulders. Their backs are brown, and their undersides are reddish-orange.
Diet: Omnivores, getting their nourishment mainly from insects and fruit.
Social Structure: The tamarin lives a monogamous live with a partner in groups of about 3 to 9 individuals. The group is led by a mature and dominant couple, who are joined by a number of younger male and female individuals.
Activity cycle: active during the day
Threats in the wild: destruction of their natural habitat, illegally traded as pets or for research
photo: Yaara Forest Tamari
photo: Momi Bochbot
photo: Shai Ben Ami
tamarins are very sensitive to any change in their environment, so any disturbance by humans in the rain forests may cause irreparable damage to their lives. The tamarin marks its group’s territory by scent. When two groups conflict over territory, the individuals expose their backsides and reproductive organs in order to scare the others and protect the territory. Interestingly, the tamarin has a specific call for each type of food it finds. The male cotton-top tamarin carries most of the responsibility for caring for the offspring and carries them from place to place on its back. The mother carries the offspring only for feeding.
Watch the zoo's video journal with stories on the tamarin: