Status: Least Concern
Range & Habitat
Typically found 17-20 feet above ground, sometimes travels through the canopy layer of Amazonian Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana and Surinam.
Reproduction & Growth
Tamarins live in extended family groups. Adult tamarins reach sexual maturity at 16-20 months. One, usually two, rarely three young are born after a gestation lasting 140-145 days. The young are cared for by all adult members of a group, with males and other females assisting at birth and caring for the young when they are not being fed. The young become independent in 2 1/2 months. There is usually only one breeding female and two or more breeding males in a group. The suppression of reproductive activity in non-dominant females is a result of inhibitory behavior of the dominant female combined with loss of ovulatory capacity in the subordinate female. The Golden Handed Tamarin's life span is 7-16 years.
In the Wild: Insects, ripe fruit, sap, gum, resin, nectar, spiders, small vertebrates and birds' eggs. Prey is killed with a bite to the head. In the Zoo: Fruits, vegetables, monkey biscuits, meal worms and marmoset diet.
Tamarins have long limbs and tail for climbing. They have specially designed teeth for extracting gum from trees, long hands and fingers for foraging in holes, two middle fingers which are webbed to help them grasp onto trees after long leaps. They are called manipulative foragers. They have specialized scent glands in the mid chest and around the genitalia. Secretions are used to mark territory and convey information about identity, status and sexual receptivity of individuals.
Golden Handed Tamarins live in groups consisting of mixed ages and sexes. They are diurnal, active by day. Within the group, there is little intra-group aggression and much cooperation and tolerance. They are mostly arboreal and leap from tree to tree or tree to ground. Tamarins vocalize in a very high pitched squeaky call as well as chirps and clicks. They will practice mutual grooming as a way of communicating. The destruction of tropical rainforest threatens the habitat of the Golden Handed Tamarin, which may threaten this species' survival.