Morphology of cotton
Life span: 13.5 years
Total population: 1800 (captive), 6000 (wild)
Gestation: 6 months (183 days)
Height: 232 mm (M & F)
Weight: 411 g (M), 430 g (F)
Species: S. oedipus
Other names: cotton-headed tamarin or white-plumed bare-face tamarin; paryk-pinché (Danish); gewone pincheaap (Dutch); valkotöyhtötamariini (Finnish); tamarin d'Oedipe, tamarin à perruque, or tamarin pinché (French); lisztäffchen (German); bichichi, mono tití cabeciblanco, tití, titis, tití blanco, tití leoncito, or tití pielroja (Spanish); bomullshuvudtamarin or pinché (Swedish)
These are small-bodied and easily recognized by the characteristic fan of long, white hair on their heads. They have very fine hair on their black-skinned faces such that their faces appear naked. Tamarins are characterized by their facial appearances and are divided into three groups: the hairy-face, mottled-face, and bare-face groups. Cotton-top tamarins are categorized in the bare-face group (Garber 1993). They have mottled gray-brown shoulders, back, and rump while their stomach and limbs are white. They have reddish-brown hair on the back of their thighs and base of their tail but the rest of the tail is gray-brown-black (Rowe 1996; Groves 2001). Cotton-top tamarins are not and the average height of both males and females is 232 mm (9.13 in) (Rowe 1996). Wild males and females weigh between 410 and 450 g (14.5 and 15.9 oz) but average 416.5 g (14.7 oz), while captive cotton-top tamarins are significantly heavier and weigh, on average, 565.7 g (19.9 oz) (Savage 1990).
Photo: Richard Frazier
The most common modes of locomotion for cotton-top tamarins include running, bounding, or galloping along medium to small branches as well as clinging and leaping between trees on thin or small branches (Rowe 1996; Kinzey 1997). Members of the subfamily Callitrichinae have claw-like nails (called tegulae) that resemble a squirrel's rather than the flat nails (called ungulae) characteristic of other primates, including humans. These claw-like nails aid in clinging, running, and leaping through trees (Kinzey 1997). Cotton-top tamarins also exhibit the trait of primarily giving birth to non-identical twins, as is seen in other (Rowe 1996).
Cotton-top tamarins live for an average of 13.5 years, but the oldest recorded cotton-top tamarin lived to be 24 years old in captivity (Rowe 1996; Savage pers. comm.).
RANGECURRENT RANGE MAPS (IUCN REDLIST):
Cotton-top tamarins are one of three Amazonian species of tamarin and are found in a small area of northwest Colombia in a range bound by the Cauca and Magdalena Rivers and the Atlantic coast (Snowdon & Soini 1988; Groves 2001). Though the overall area bound to the north by the Magdalena River and the west by the Cauca River has historically been suitable habitat for cotton-top tamarins, they are now only found in fragmented parks and reserves throughout this area. One of the strongholds of the remaining cotton-top tamarins is in Paramillo National Park, a 540 km² (208 mi²) park containing and (Mast et al. 1993).