Golden Lion Tamarin

The Facts

  • Genus/Species: Leontopithecus rosalia
  • Conservation Status: Endangered 
  • Location: Brazil


Golden Lion Tamarin
Golden Lion Tamarin
Golden Lion Tamarin
Golden Lion Tamarin
Golden Lion Tamarin
Golden Lion Tamarin

The Scoop

Cute but Endangered

Golden lion tamarins are small orange-yellow monkeys. They are found in swamp forests along the Atlantic Coastal forests of Brazil. Golden lion tamarins get their names from their striking orange mane. These little monkeys live in the trees, sleep in tree hollows at night and search for food by day, while traveling from branch to branch. In the wild, they live in groups of two to nine animals, usually consisting of a male and female of breeding age, and several younger animals.

These cute monkeys are only about 8 inches long, and weigh less than two lbs. Golden lion tamarins feed on fruits, insects, and small lizards. They search crevices and other hiding places for their prey. They use their long, slender fingers and hands to probe into these areas. During the morning hours, the family spends much of its time searching for and eating ripe fruits. To conserve energy, the group rests during the warmer mid-day hours and will engage in mutual grooming bouts. In the evening, they will start hunting for food again.

The forests that are the home of the golden lion tamarin are disappearing fast due to logging activities as well as the growth of towns and farmlands. As a result, these little creatures are fast disappearing too, and are now endangered. Sadly, only 50% of all golden lion tamarin babies survive the first year of their life.


Did You Know? 

  • Golden lion tamarin females usually give birth to twins. All the members of her group will help her to take care of the babies, but the dad helps the most.
  • Golden lion tamarins will share their meals with others in the group, either offering bits to the others or letting others steal from them.
  • Golden lion tamarins have sharp nails. These nails help the monkey to move in and around and climb the trees easily.
  • If excited or frightened a golden lion tamarin raises its mane, bares its teeth and calls out with high-pitched shrieks.


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