Vote to Name Our Cotton-Top Tamarins!

The newest residents at the Small Mammal House have big personalities—and even bigger hair!

A pair of cotton-top tamarin sisters, who are 8 and 9 years old, put down roots at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute this January after moving from the Ellen Trout Zoo in Texas. To celebrate their arrival, keepers are inviting the public to help select the sisters’ names.

UPDATE: The results are in! After a grand total of 5,473 votes were cast, the cotton-top tamarin sisters will officially be named...

...Toph and Suki! 

A pair of cotton-top tamarins hangs out on some rockwork. One is tilting its head quizzically.
A pair of cotton-top tamarins looks into the camera.

Official Poll Results

Shakira and Ziggy = 1,327 votes (24.2% of the total vote)
Thistle and Zinnia= 1,505 votes (27.5% of the total vote)
Toph and Suki = 2,641 votes (48.3% of the total vote)

More About Each Name

Shakira and Ziggy inspired by the Colombian pop singer and the alter ego of David Bowie, English rock star Ziggy Stardust

Toph and Suki named after characters from the series 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'

Thistle and Zinnia named after the bright-blooming, puffy flowers

About Cotton-top Tamarins

Native to the tropical forests of Colombia, cotton-top tamarins are small, tree-dwelling monkeys. Their signature hairstyle is fashionable and functional. When on alert, these monkeys will raise the hair on their heads in an attempt to look larger.

The Small Mammal House team hopes the tamarin sisters will inspire visitors to learn more and take action to protect this critically endangered species. With fewer than 6,000 individuals left in the wild, cotton-top tamarins are threatened by habitat loss, deforestation and capture for the illegal pet trade.

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