Red-handed tamarin

Red-handed tamarin

Saguinus midas

Conservation status: IUCN – LC (Least concern), CITES – Appendix II.

Geographic range: Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname.

Physical description: Red-handed tamarins are between 20 and 28 cm large, with tails of up to 44 cm. Their average weight is between 400 and 550 g and there is little to no distinction between males and females. Their long black coat covers most of their bodies, except for their hands and feet, which are orangey-red or yellow. All of their digits are clawed, with the exception of their big toes, which have the flattened nail characteristic of primates. They have specialized scent glands in the middle of their chest and around their genitalia, which secrete scents to mark their territory and convey information about individuals. 

Biology: Red-footed tamarins live in groups of 2-6, consisting of a range of ages and of both genders. They are active by day and their territories typically cover areas of around 10 hectares. They are primarily arboreal and can leap both from tree to tree and from tree to ground. They are known to be able to jump from heights of up to 20 meters without showing any signs of injuries. The young are reared by all adult members of the group but there is usually only one breeding female and 2 or more breeding males. Adults reach sexual maturity between 16 and 20 months of age. One, usually two, and rarely three young are born after a gestation of between 140 and 145 days. The young weigh about 45 g at birth. 

Lifespan: In the wild approximately 10 years, in captivity up to 21 years.

Food habits: Mainly insects, ripe fruit, and sap. They can also eat nectar, spiders, small vertebrates, and bird‘s eggs.

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