Golden Lion Tamarin

Leontopithecus rosalia


Range & Habitat
Atlantic coastal forest of Brazil's Southern state of Bahia.

General Description
Tamarins have long limbs and tail for climbing. They have specially designed teeth for extracting gum from trees, opposable thumbs, long hands and fingers for foraging in holes, two middle fingers which are webbed to help them to grasp onto trees after long leaps. They are called manipulative foragers. 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 Lion Tamarins are the most endangered primates in South America. Slash and burn agriculture has destroyed much of the Tropical rainforest that they live in. They are also affected by the pet trade.

Reproduction & Growth
Tamarins live in extended family groups. There may be only 1 breeding female in a group. These females have twins twice a year. Their gestation period is 150-160 days. The male helps in carrying the young 7-10 days after birth. The young become independent in 2 1/2 months. The whole group takes part in carrying the young and surrendering food morsels to them.

Diet: Omnivore
In the Wild: Fruits, insects, spiders, lizards, frogs and snakes. In the Zoo: Fruits, vegetables, monkey biscuits, meal worms and marmoset diet.

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