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Pied Tamarin

Helen Brach Primate House

Did You Know?

  • Pied tamarins rapidly flick their tongue in and out of their mouth to signal recognition, anger, and curiosity.
  • Only one dominant female per group will usually breed during a season, and she does so with more than one male. She usually bears twins.
  • Pied tamarins have a very limited range: in the suburbs and rainforest around the Brazilian city of Manaus. They are dependent on forest canopies, and their population is decreasing rapidly due to habitat loss, urban growth, and agriculture.

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Scientific Name: Saguinus bicolor

Class: Mammals

Diet: Fruit, flowers, nectar, frogs, snails, lizards, spiders, and insects

Range: Amazonas, Brazil

Endangered Status: Critically Endangered

More Information

These small monkeys have bald heads, black skin, and large ears. They have white fur on their shoulders and chest, plus reddish-brown fur on their back and rear. Their tail is longer than the rest of their body, which measures between 8.3–1.11 inches. They weigh about 1 pound. Males and females appear similar. They have modified claws on all their digits except for their big toes.

Pied tamarins are arboreal and active during the day. They move on four legs, leaping and swinging on vines. They live in groups of up to 15 individuals and mark their territory with scent glands. Breeding takes place between March and May, and the birth of twins takes place more than six months later. Males are the ones who mostly carry the newborns; he will transfer them to the mother every two hours to feed. Females become mature at 18 months; males do so at two years.

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