DISTRIBUTION IN COLOMBIA
Cotton-top tamarins have an extremely limited distribution, occurring in the tropical forests of northwestern Colombia between the Atrato River and the Magdalena River, in the departments of Atlántico, Sucre, Cordoba, western Bolivar, northwestern Antioquia, and northeastern Choco, from sea level up to 1500 m.
Cotton-top tamarins live in groups ranging in size from 2-10 individuals. Most groups contain a breeding pair with their offspring. Groups of cotton-tops remain relatively stable with siblings dispersing. Unrelated adult animals are often repelled from entering established groups, however, when immigrant adults enter the group, they will often compete with the resident same-sex adult and/or assume a breeding position. If this happens, groups typically become less stable and will divide or evict various individuals from the group. Learn more about how cotton-tops live in the wild by visiting our field research
Female cotton-top tamarin typically give birth to twins each year. Parental care is shared in cotton-top families, with infants carried on the backs of their caregivers for the first 4 months. As infants mature, they are carried less and adults begin to share solid food as weaning progresses. Learn more
about infant care and development.
Cotton-top tamarins eat primarily fruit, but will also consume insects, sap, and nectar. Their diet is highly seasonal, correlating with the rainy season when most trees are fruiting. When fruit is scarce, the proportion of sap, nectar, and insects in the diet increases. With fruit making up the largest portion of the diet, cotton-top tamarins may be important seed dispersal agents for trees in the forest. Learn more
about the cotton-top tamarin's diet.
Cotton-top tamarins can produce over 38 different vocalizations! They use these vocalizations to communicate with one another, to defend their territory from neighboring groups, to signal the presence of food, and more! To see and hear a complete list of cotton-top tamarin vocalizations, view our publications