Study the behavior of cotton-top tamarins!
Observing the behavior of cotton-top tamarins, gives us a new way to study the behaviors and biology of another important primate – us! The Museum is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and these cotton-top tamarins are part of a Species Survival Plan® program. Through this program we collaborate with 60 other institutions to maintain a genetically healthy captive population of tamarins to ensure the survival of the species.
Cotton-top tamarins are cooperative, and generally live in families of breeding parents and their offspring. Young tamarins learn about child care by helping their parents raise infant siblings, especially since mothers often give birth to twins. Most of the time, infants cling to the father or to siblings and are passed to the mother for nursing. Feeding the infants demands a lot of energy from the mother, who also needs time to find and eat food. In wild populations, unrelated individuals are sometimes accepted into family groups, and help care and protect young tamarins.