Golden Lion Tamarin

LEONTOPITHECUS ROSALIA

The  Brandywine Zoo has two golden lion tamarins. Huey, was born at the Brandywine Zoo on November 19, 2007. He has several black spots in the middle of his tail; short cheek tufts  and little facial discoloration. His brother, Armond Junior AKA “AJ” 1.0 was also born at the Brandywine Zoo on April 15, 2007. He is darkest in color, has long tufts of curled hair on either side of his head; his tail is mostly orange.

THREATS & CONSERVATION

Once, golden lion tamarins were captured and sold as pets. Their rapid decline in numbers has thwarted many people’s desires for these exotic pets. Although wild populations are improving from captive-bred individuals (1/3 of wild species originated from captive stock), they are still threatened, and continuing conservation is essential to ensure that the enormous successes thus far are not undone.

Fun Facts

Their rich color is thought to be a product of sunlight exposure and the presence of carotenoids in their diet.

A special characteristic of these primates (callitrichids) is their tendency to birth twins, unusual among primates because of the immense time and energy it takes to care for just one infant. 78% of all births in wild golden lion tamarins are twins and the energetic demand of caring for two has shaped their social structure and cooperative breeding patterns.