We are delighted to announce the birth of twin Black-tailed marmosets. We are particularly pleased with this birth as we coordinate this species within Europe, using computer dating to work out the best genetic pairings to keep a healthy captive population for this species.
There are very few Black-tailed marmosets within collections in European zoos so it is an important birth for the programme.
The new baby twins join the family group of mum, Melanie, Dad, Cal and their previous 5 offspring. This is the fourth birth for the pair and as usual they are being excellent parents. Cal undertakes the majority of the care of the babies, passing them back to mum for feeding. Born on the 9th February, they will be weaned within 6 months and reach maturity at two years of age.
These marmosets from South America have large incisor teeth which they use to gouge holes in tree bark to get the sap. They have claws instead of nails (except the big toe), which is unusual amongst primates. They use these to grip the trees as they climb and move about the forest. Their diet consists of fruit, flowers, insects and tree sap.
Marmosets and tamarins belong to the family Callitrichidae which contains the smallest monkeys in the world. The name Callitrichidae means ‘beautiful hair’.