Photo by Julie Larsen Maher (WCS).
The Prospect Park Zoo wants you to help name their Geoffroy’s tamarin twins. Born in April Cannoli and her mate Napoleon, these twins are now about 2 months old and they need a name! Click here to suggest names for the twins. Winning names will be announced on June 21st online. I have personally submitted the name Maya and Milo. What do you think?
You can also watch a video of these babies and their parents on the zoo's website (click here). In the meantime, if you are at the zoo, say hi to the tamarin family in the Animal Lifestyle rotunda (where the Hamadryas baboons are also located!).
Geoffroy's tamarin (Saguinus geoffroyi) belongs to the Callitrichidae (Callitrichid) family. They are New World monkeys, native to Colombia and Panama. Mainly frugivores and insectivores, they do eat exudates (tree gums and tree saps) and green plant parts. Tamarins only feed on exudates when it is readily available, for example, holes left by wood-boring insects and rodents. Unlike marmosets (another Callitrichid), tamarins do not have the adaptation for gnawing on tree barks.
The difference between marmoset (left) and tamarin (right) lower dentition. Illustration from John Fleagle, Primate Adaptation and Evolution, Second Edition (1999).
Tamarin's dental morphology are not suited for gnawing on tree barks because their lower canines are longer than their lower incisors. Marmosets, on the other hand, has long forward turning lower incisors that are the same length as their canines.
Geoffroy's tamarin lives in a multimale-multifemale social system and a group generally consists of three to five individuals. Their mating system is usually polyandry (one female, multiple male). Geoffroy's tamarin, like all Callitrichids, almost always give birth to twins.
UPDATE: The twins were given the name "Tira" and "Misu".