Different Species of Lion Tamarin
A Tamarin is part of a group called New World Monkeys. This means that they are from a group of primates now living in and around South America. But, they originated from Africa along long time ago. In fact, scientists believe that the Tamarin monkeys are an off shoot of another group of monkeys from over 40 million years ago in Africa.
The lion tamarin is a type of small primate. There are four species of lion tamarin — the golden; the golden-rumped, or black; the golden-headed; and the black-faced, or Superagui — all of which belong in the genus Leontopithecus. All species have a tuft of hair around their head similar to a lion’s mane, and all are endangered in the wild.Native to the rain forests in Brazil, lion tamarins usually live under closed canopies and spend their time in the trees 33–98 feet (10–30 m) high — even sleeping in hollows in the trees. All species are about the same size, ranging from 8–13 inches (20–33 cm) long, with tails that are 12–15 inches (30.4–38 cm) long.
Living in family groups of two to 11 monkeys, only one pair will breed, but the whole group will take care of the offspring.Unlike most primates, tamarins have claws instead of fingernails. Their faces and hands lack fur and are darkly colored. Tamarins are mostly diurnal, preferring to be active during the day. All species but the golden-headed are omnivorous. They eat lizards, birds and insects as well as fruits and vegetables. Though the golden-headed will eat meat, their diets consist almost entirely of fruits, making them frugivorous.