Just a few weeks shy of the 1st birthday of their first set of twins, Lilly and Eddy are once again proud parents of two cotton-top tamarins. The two healthy babies were born Sunday, June 2nd. The sexes of the twin new world monkeys have not yet been determined. They are the 3rd and 4th babies born to Lilly, a four-year-old female and Eddy, who is eight years old. Both babies appear to be thriving and big sisters, Helen and CC, are helping mom and dad. All six tamarins, including the newborns, can be seen in the tamarin exhibit located inside the rhino barn at Rolling Hills Zoo.
“It’s been fun watching how much the siblings have been already helping”, says Peter Burvenich, Curator at Rolling Hills. “We were so delighted with the success of the first births last year, and we’re even more pleased that Lilly has had two more healthy babies”.
The cotton-top tamarin is a small New World monkey (weighing less than one pound) that is found in the wild in tropical forest edges and secondary forests of northwest Colombia in South America, where it is arboreal and diurnal.
This tamarin species has a long sagittal crest – white hairs from forehead to nape flowing over the shoulders, giving it the name “Cotton-top”. The skin of the face is black, with gray or white bands above the eyes that continue along the edge of the face down to the jaw and has no facial hair. Its lower canine teeth are longer than its incisors, giving the appearance of small tusks. About the size of a squirrel, males are only slightly larger than females.
Having lost more than three-quarters of their original habitat to deforestation, cotton-top tamarins are critically endangered. Only 2,000 to 3,000 individuals exist in the wild. The species is considered to be one of “The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates.”