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Golden lion tamarin

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Golden lion tamarin
Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Leontopithecus rosalia

Image Description

The Golden Lion Tamarin is a colorful New World monkey with the hair of a lion and the color of an orange (and in some cases the color of charcoal). This Tamarin species is currently endangered since there are only 1,500 Golden Lion Tamarins living in small Brazilian islands. They are also constantly hunted by various predators, making their survival even more scarce. They eat several different food items, which classifies them as Omnivores. They use their long pointed fingers as their means of acquiring the diverse foods they ingest.

Golden Lion Tamarins are generally territorial, so do not attempt to make friends with them by laying out in the open for a mob of them to come and brutally tear you limb from limb. It is said that they even fight amongst themselves at certain times.

These Tamarins reproduce twins most of the time, which grow to maturity within 18 weeks (male). The infants are said to be very delicate because 40% of them die under one year.

These creatures are indeed unique and wonderfully made, thus we should not take them for granted.



The Golden Lion Tamarin is a unique kind of monkey that deserves special care for its endangered species. Golden Lion Tamarins usually grow to weights ranging from 500lbs to 600lbs. Their life expectancy lasts for only a meager eight years, that is, if they survive their infant life (40% of the infants will die within one year). Their hair is generally shaped like that of a lion with golden color, thus we get the name Golden Lion Tamarin. These orange-yellow monkeys live mostly on small islands in Brazil, where they are endangered; for only a minuscule amount of over 1,500 make up their population. To avoid being a tasty snack for an unsuspecting predator, these monkeys sleep in holes in trees.[1]


Most Golden Lion Tamarins will reproduce twins on the mating seasons of April and May. Interestingly, instead of the female taking care of the baby, the male carries it around after the third week its existence. It takes just eighteen weeks for the male Golden Lion Tamarin to grow to maturity, whereas the female will take twenty-four weeks. Once this happens, the now mature male or female will be removed from the family by their parents to find new territory and to mate.[2]



Believe it or not, the Golden lion tamarin is actually an omnivore because it will eat insects, nectar, fruit, and even some small vertebrates! Their fingers were designed to be long and thin, so that they may pry open places where their food may be. They are very cautious in their searches for their food; Usually searching behind the bark of a tree and all sorts of things to locate a decent meal. The most common tree they scrape their food from is called a Bromeliad, which contains a great source of the Tamarin's food and water supply.[3]
The Golden Lion Tamarin will usually find its home in tropical swamplands with a vivacious amount of fruit and other foods. In these swamplands there must also be an abundance of vines to swing on, seeing as they have predators from above and need quick escape routes.[4]


The Golden Lion Tamarin is hunted by three primary predators, Hawks, Snakes, and Wildcats. When Golden Lion Tamarins encounter any of these ominous beasts, they will sound an alarm with their unique voices. A special call is sounded when hawks can be seen overhead, when this is heard the Tamarins will immediately run for their lives or fall to the ground. It seems as if the Golden Lion Tamarins are pushovers with that fact, however, if they find a predator on the ground, they will form a gang and tear it to shreds. So don't get caught in a mob of Tamarins, golden or lion, they are dangerous monkeys when in packs.[5]



  • [6] Paul Massicot, © 1999 - 2006 Animal Info, September 10, 2006.
  • [7] Emma Lee I., Random House New York, 1995, 2003.
  • [8] Dr. James Rossie , ©2002 - UTCT/DigiMorph, 21 November 2002.