Primates are gradually gaining popularity as pets nowadays, with species ranging from bigger ones like orangutans and chimpanzees finding their way into several people’s homes. However, people not keen on keeping primates almost their size can rest easier with smaller ones, and one such animal is the equally lovable cotton-top tamarin.
Cotton-top tamarins are tiny monkeys about the size of squirrels, which are primarily found in South America. They get their name from the white fur “hat” on top of their heads, which also quite resembles hairstyles commonly worn by pop music icon Tina Turner. They’re covered in thick black and white fur all around, and are quadruped (uses all four legs to move about). They grow up to 10 inches long and weigh about one pound, and their reproductive activities are quite peculiar—every 28 weeks, a single female is likely to give birth to twins.
These monkeys live for a good 8-12 years in the wild, and with proper care, can live up to 25 years in zoos. Their sleep habits practically resemble those of humans, as they’re active during the day and are sound asleep at night. They live in groups of 2-12 individuals, further strengthening their identity as social animals.
Cotton-top tamarins are omnivorous, which means they eat both plants and animals. Their diet consists mostly of fruits and insects, and sometimes even bird eggs, lizards, and tree sap.