Saddle-Back Tamarin

Species: Saguinus fusciollis.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Male Ht. .5 ft., Wt. .7 lbs. Female Ht. .5 ft., Wt. .7 lbs. Coat: extremely variable among subspecies, varying from black to orange to white. Variable chromosome number. Quadrupedal: climbing, springing, and branch running. Longevity: about 12 years in wild.


ECOLOGY: Diurnal arboreal forager. Secondary rain forest. Daily routine: 20% travel, 45% resting, 15% plant feeding, 15% insect feeding. Home range: .5 km2 Day range: .5 km. Predation from eagles, hawks, cats and snakes; predator contact every 1-2 weeks, adults constantly on watch, frequent alarm calls.

DIET: fruit (50%), leaves (10%), insects (30%), prey (5%).

SOCIAL ORGANIZATION: Monogamous or polyandrous family groups, Adult pair + juveniles and infants. Forage in close proximity. Some social play by juveniles. Exclusive territories. Male transfer at about 3 yrs. Females may remain near their parents' territory.

REPRODUCTION: Males sexually mature at 5 yrs. Females sexually mature at 4 yrs. Gestation length: 5 months. No estrus swellings. Litter size: 2. Interbirth interval: 1 yr. Infant birth wt.: .2 lbs.

PARENTAL CARE: Infants carried by males for 3 mo., transferred to females for nursing. Fathers and sibs also share food, groom, and play with offspring. Siblings carry infants. Weaning at .5 yr.

TOPIC OF SPECIAL INTEREST: Extensive paternal and sibling care of infants. Polyandry. Predation avoidance, including snake "mobbing."


Goldizen, A.W. 1987. Tamarins and Marmosets: communal care of offspring. In: Primate societies, B.B. Smuts et al (Eds.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

| Concepts | Glossary | Primate Facts |
| Course Calendar | Assignments, Quizzes, Announcements | Course Home |
<< back to Mark Flinn Teaching