The stunning cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) is one of South America’s most endangered primates. Its name describes the fantastic crest of long white hair flowing around the black face like a mane of white cotton. Its body is small and covered with thick fur, with a brown back and shoulders, and white to yellow chest and limbs. The fore and hind limbs are similar in size, allowing it to move quadrupedally through the forest, running along branches or jumping short distances between tree branches. Like marmosets and other tamarins, the ancestral primate nails on their toes and fingers have evolved into claws on all but their big toes, allowing them to climb in a squirrel-like fashion in the trees. This small monkey has a long tail, which assists in balance; it is reddish orange towards the base and black towards the tip. Males and females look the same in appearance, as do the young
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