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Pied tamarin

Saguinus bicolor

Description: The Pied tamarin (Saguinus bicolor) is white on its shoulders and front, with a striking dark brown back, hind part and upper tail. The fur lightens to a rust color on the lower belly, inner thighs and underside of the tail. The bald head has black skin and the large ears add to the distinguished appearance of this species.

Size: Males and females are about the same size, weighing approximately one pound (0.45 kg). They are between 8 – 11 inches long (20 – 28 cm); tail length is 14 – 17 inches (36 – 43 cm).

Behavior: The arboreal and primarily diurnal Pied tamarins usually find safety in tree tops during the night. These social animals live in family groups ranging up to 15 members. Grooming is an important part of their behavior. They are a very territorial species whose troops are led by the eldest female.

Diet: The diet of the omnivorous Pied tamarin includes insects, a variety of fruits, plant gums and flowers but may also feed on reptiles, eggs and small rodents.

Senses: Sight is their primary sense but they also have a well-developed sense of smell.

Communication: Scent-marking is used for communication in the group, but they are also reported to use a variety of vocalizations such as whistles and chirps, particularly to defend their territory.

Reproduction: After a gestation period of approximately 160 days, the female usually gives birth to twins. As with other tamarins, the male and older siblings tend to the babies.

Habitat/range: The geographic range of the Pied tamarin is small, found only in a small area of Brazilian rainforest, in and around the city of Manaus.

Status: IUCN Red List Endangered (EN); CITES Appendix I.