Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus Rosalia)
DESCRIPTION: Golden Lion Tamarins get their name from their impressive manes. The Golden Lion Tamarin is covered in golden fur that frames a black face and covers its small body and tail. Despite their name they have much more in common with their primate relatives than with any feline.
They are small primates weighing between 17 and 24 ounces. Their bodies and heads measure 6 to 10 inches in length with a tail of about 12 to 15 inches long. Males and females are similar in appearance and size.
They have narrow hands and feet and long fingers that help them stay aloft in the tree tops. They sleep in hollows at night and forage by day while traveling from branch to branch.
Golden Lion Tamarins are a social species. In the wild, they live in groups of two to eight family members. The groups comprise a breeding pair, offspring of one or two litters and possibly other relatives. Golden Lion Tamarins groom much like other primates. The juveniles play, chasing and wrestling with each other. A group is called a troop, barrel, cartload, tribe, or wilderness.
RANGE: They are native to the Atlantic coastal rainforests of southeastern Brazil.
HABITAT: Golden Lion Tamarins live primarily in the treetops of rainforests.
DIET: Omnivore – they enjoy fruit, flowers, insects, small vertebrates, tree gum, nectars and bird eggs.
FAMILY LIFE: Each group has one monogamous breeding pair. After a gestation period of about four and a half months, the female usually gives birth to twins. Golden Lion Tamarins are born fully furred with their eyes open. They cling to their mothers for the first few weeks. All members of the group will carry and care for the infants, but the adult male usually does the largest share. The mother only takes the infants to nurse them. After about five weeks, infants begin to explore on their own; they are weaned at 3 months.
LIFE SPAN: The average life span is 11 years in the wild and 15 years or longer in human care.
Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo’s Rainforest Building has reopened to the public just in time to meet a new resident, she is a Golden Lion Tamarin, an endangered species native to Brazil named Cricket. Cricket has come to join the resident male named Leao.
These inquisitive animals spend their day foraging for food that they can snatch with their long fingers. Golden Lion Tamarins move quadrupedally through the trees and can spring and leap between branches and vines.
Rainforest Building open daily from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm