Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin

The Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysomelas) is a small endangered primate. It is related to the Marmoset, Capuchin, and Titi Monkey.

The Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin has a lion-like mane of hair around its dark hairless face. It has black fur on most of its body, and golden fur on its head, mane, hands, feet, and tail. It has clawed nails, called tegulae, at the ends of its fingertips, instead of on top of its fingertips. It has small dark eyes.

Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin

Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin


It measures about 25 centimetres (10 inches) tall.

The Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin is native to Bahia State in east Brazil. It is only found in the lowland and pre-montane tropical forests of Bahia. It prefers to live in very tall trees.

It is territorial, and defends its territory. It eats plants, fruit, flowers, nectar, insects, spiders, snails, frogs, lizards, exudates (tree resin), bird eggs and small snakes.

It lives in a social group of 2-11 individuals, and usually shares its food with other members of the group so that they all receive the same amount.

It is diurnal, active during the day. It runs on four limbs, and its claws enable it to cling to trees. It can leap from tree to tree.

The female is pregnant for about 4.5 months, and almost always gives birth to twins. The young tamarins ride on the back of their mother, but both parents look after the young.



Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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