As one of the most endangered species of primate in the world today the Golden Lion Tamarin exists mainly in the areas of South America, more specifically the coasts boarding the country of brazil all the to Uruguay. Originating from the luscious and seemingly never-ending rainforests of Brazil the Golden Lion Tamarins have had to relocate over the years. Due to the interruption of man through out these spacious and lush forests, many species has been left homeless and even pushed to the brink of extinction. Cultivation, deforestation, and industrialization have hacked away at this natural beauty, leaving almost nothing to those who inhabited it before man kind entered this untouched domain, including the homes of the entire population of the Golden Lion Tamarins. These magnificent primates now reside in three major national or biological reserves: Poco das Antas Biological Reserve, União Biological Reserve, and Traquara Municipal National Park. All three work towards protecting and helping rebuild the Golden Lion Tamarin species before they become extinct.
The taxonomy of the Golden Lion Tamarin is as follows, the Order: Primate, Suborder: Haplorrhini, Infraorder: Simifformes. Family: Cebidae, Subfamily: Callitrichinae, Genus: Leontopitchinae. Finally, Species: Leontopithecus Rosalia or commonly called the Golden Lion Tamarin. Other local names in South America consist of: “Mico-Leão-Dourado” (Portuguese); “Sauí-Piranga” (Spanish), and simply called “Red Lion Monkey” (Rowe 1996; Kinzey 1997).
Physical characteristics of the Golden Lion Tamarin that are unique to the species include the claws used for forage for food, climbing, hanging, and digging in the place of nails. The golden coat of the Golden Lion Tamarin has given them the title of “Reid da Selva” in Portuguese, translated to “King of the Jungle” for its lion resembling features. The fiery red-orange coat covers the entire body creating a beautiful mane covering the cheeks, neck and ears surrounding the dark hairless faces (Rowe 1996: Kinzey 1997). Their lush color is a result of sun exposure and ingested amounts of Carotenoids founds in small fruits such as carrots. These diurnal mammals stand about 10.3 inches not including a tail that can reach lengths of 17 inches alone (Dietz et al. 1994). Males tend to weigh an average of 1.37 pounds, where as females can range between 1.27 and 1.37 pounds. Infants weight ten percent of their mother’s weight. Tamarins have a tendency to travel through trees bouncing on all four limbs from branch to branch (Sussman 2000). This led many researchers to believe they are arboreal, in fact Tamarins are omnivores who forage under rocks, logs, and vine clusters on the ground searching for nourishment. Their diet includes: wild roaches, small lizards, small snakes, bird eggs, and other juice like substances. This gave them the name folivore primates, or animals specializing in eating small fruits.
Golden Lion Tamarin usually travel and interact...