Golden Lion Tamarin

Leontopithecus Rosalia

Scientific Name

Golden Lion Tamarin:  
Leontopithecus Rosalia

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

They are currently found only in a small area of Brazil northeast of Rio de Janeiro.

Natural Habitat

Golden lion tamarin prefer swamp forests, which contain many vines and bromeliads, and has a high density of fruit and animal foods. Found in the humid forest they tend to seek out trees with holes for sleeping sites.

Physical Characteristics

  • This strikingly beautiful, squirrel-sized primate is fiery orange in color.  Its body length is anywhere from 7-13 inches, plus a 12-15 inch tail.  With the exception of their toes, a golden lion tamarin, unlike most monkeys has claws, not nails.

Quick Facts

  1. Golden lion tamarins usually give birth to twins.  The father will carry the young, clinging tightly to his back.  The entire family group, as many as eleven individuals, contributes to infant care.


  2. These tamarins are very territorial and defend their habitat with scent markings and vocalized threats.


  3. Golden lion tamarins retire at dusk and sleep until after sunrise.



Conservation Status

Critically Endangered: The Golden Lion Tamarin is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

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In the wild, this tiny primate will eat insects and fruit, but also spiders, snails, small lizards, birds and bird eggs. At the Zoo, the golden lion tamarin may eat canned marmoset diet, fruit, mealworms and crickets.