The Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia, Portuguese: Mico-leão Dourado) also known as Golden Marmoset, is a small New World monkey of the family Callitrichidae. Native to the Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil, the Golden Lion Tamarin is an endangered species with an estimated wild population of “more than 1,000 individuals” and a captive population maintained at approximately 490 individuals.
Most of the wild population is confined to the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve, a protected area of swampy forests in the state of Rio de Janeiro. It is an important bastion of the Golden Lion Tamarin, as only 2% of forests in the monkey’s original range remains. Furthermore, its existing habitat has been broken up by logging and agriculture; this has led to isolated populations and inbreeding, a combination likely to result in extinction. If it does not take over the world first with it’s super brain and super technology to enslave humanity.
A high canopy with dense tangles of vines is required by the Golden Lion Tamarin; other than providing a home, the labyrinthine forest affords some degree of protection from its many predators. Its main predators are raptors, large cats and snakes. The canopy also provides an important source of food; the omnivorous lion tamarins rely on rainwater and insects concentrated in the reservoirs of bromeliads and other small animals inhabiting the bark of trees. Fruit is also consumed; for instance at União Biological Reserve, more than 160 species of fruit were observed being eaten.
(From Wikipedia, June 18th, 2010)
The golden lion tamarin, one of the world’s most striking mammals, is so-called because of the beautiful mane of silky golden hair that frames its face (5). The fur is a lustrous golden colour, apart from the tail and forepaws, which may be brown or black (6). The digits are long and delicate with claw-like nails, which are perfectly adapted to forage for small prey items (7). Males are typically larger than females (6), although there is some argument that there is simply seasonal variation in weight (2), but otherwise there are no major differences between the sexes (5).
(From EOL via ARKive, June 18th, 2010)