February 23, 2012
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Newborn twin cottontop tamarins clinging to their parent's back. Photo courtesy of ZSL.
Twin cottontop tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) were born in the Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) zoo in London this month. Mother Sabi gave birth to the pair after five months. Currently the twins are only five centimeters tall (two inches) tall. Tamarins, tiny new world monkeys, usually give birth to twins.
Found only in Colombia, cottontop tamarins are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Currently it's estimated around 6,000 individuals survive in the wild. The species has lost much of its habitat to deforestation and even in protected areas faces pressure from on-going human pressures. Dams have also had a major impact on the region. Cottontop tamarins area apart of the World's Top 25 Most Threatened Primates list.
When full grown these cottontop tamarins will be about the size of a squirrel. Photo courtesy of ZSL.