Animals / Mammal Facts / Types of Monkeys / Emperor Tamarin - Small Creature, Big Fu Manchu

Emperor Tamarin - Small Creature, Big Fu Manchu

tamarin face


The emperor tamarin is a new world monkey found in Central and South America. It is known as "the emperor" because of its odd, humorous looking white moustache (even females and the little ones are born with stubble). The majority of the rest of its fur is gray with yellow/brown speckles.

There are two species within the emperor tamarin group: the black-chinned and the bearded. There are few differences between the two types except for this all important chin fashion. The grow up to 10 inches (25 cm) and can reach up to 1 lb (450 g) in weight. Their tails are much longer than their bodies. These statistics show they’re very small animals, but that doesn't mean they can't be fashionable.



tamarin screeching


The emperor tamarins’ habitat is mainly the tropical rainforests of South America. It lives in the deepest areas of the forest. It’s a diurnal arboreal species which sprints on all fours amongst the trees making safe broad jumps when necessary.


bearded fu manchu tamarins young going for ride


This is social monkey. Generally, they live in groups of two to ten animals. They live in a matriarchal society which means the oldest female leads the group and is the most senior and important member of the group. The mature males then follow in her wake and the young bring up the rear. Like many primates, this species partakes in mutual grooming for social purposes and to bond with the others in its group. They have various shrill and shrieking cries to warn off others from their group. They are a very territorial species and defend their land aggressively against other tamarins and small monkeys.


bearded  tamarin tree lounging


Their diet consists mainly of fruit complemented by a small proportion of nectar in the wet seasons. When the dry seasons come round nectar becomes a more integral part of the diet. They will also eat insects (crickets are a favorite), snails and ants if they need to and are opportunistic when it comes to their food.


moustache tamarin eating


The female emperor tamarin has a gestational period of about 145 days and normally gives birth to two young. The offspring are cared for by all members of the group including the mature males. The males are the ones who carry the offspring except when they are suckling. The average lifespan of this species is around 15 years although they are known to live up to 20.




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