Golden Lion Tamarin

Leontopithecus rosalia

Golden lion tamarins have vivid, gold-orange mane of long hair that surrounds their face. Its small body and tail are also golden in colour while its face is dark and hairless. The golden lion tamarin have claw-like nails which enables them to cling to the sides of tree trunks.

Distribution and habitat

The golden lion tamarins have a very limited distribution range, living in the heavily populated Atlantic coastal regions of south eastern Brazil. They live in humid forests and occupy the closed canopy, often remaining 10-30m above ground.


They are omnivorous, feeding on fruits, insects, and small invertebrates. They use their long, slender fingers and hands to probe into crevices, bark, bromeliads and other hiding places for their prey.


These monkeys form social family groups of up to eight individuals. The groups comprise a breeding pair and offspring of one or two litters. Males help to raise their offspring and tamarin young are usually twins. Golden lion tamarins sleep in hollows at night and forage by day while traveling from branch to branch. Diurnal and territorial, they defend their area by scent marking and vocalised threats. Golden lion tamarins groom much like other primates. The juveniles play, chasing and wrestling with each other.

Conservation status

ENDANGERED (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species).



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