Its face is black and nearly devoid of hair except for brief white brows and short hair on its cheeks. It has the characteristic brown eyes that are found in all tamarins. Its body is a mixture of colors, with the back and shoulders being grayish brown, the rump being rusty brown, the torso being white and the long tail being rusty brown at the base before proceeding to become dark brown or blackish further down. Measuring from nose to rump, the usual length of a cotton-top tamarin is 9 inches [23 cm]. The average length of its tail is 14.5 inches [37 cm]. The weight of an adult differs between males and females with the former being 14.5 ounces [410 gm] and the latter being 15.2 ounces [430 gm] (Durrel.org).
Cotton-top tamarins are mainly found in the forests of northwest Colombia in an area between the Magdalena River and the Cauca River. Others are found in several reserves and parks in Colombia, especially the sprawling Paramillo National Park which covers an area of 540 square km (Lang).
The average longevity period of a cotton-top tamarin is 13.5 years (Lang). The female [who can be impregnated at the age of 10 months] gives birth to twins after 6 months’ gestation (Peaceriverrefuge.org). The male helps the female at birth by washing the babies. He also carries the babies, only handing them over to the female at feeding time (Zooschool.escd.net). The young ones are fed until they are 8 to 10 weeks old. The female young ones grow up to mature faster than the males [18 months as compared to 24 months] (Peaceriverrefuge.org).
Cotton-top tamarins have a typical movement style involving quadrepedal clinging/walking/running along small or medium branches, or bounding up to distances of 3 meters to branches of nearby trees (Zooschool.escd.net). Their modes of movement are aided by their unique claw-like nails [known as tegulae] that resemble those of squirrels (Lang).
The diet of cotton-top tamarins