Golden Lion Tamarin - The Lion Monkey
The golden lion tamarin or lion monkey, a native of Brazil, is one of the most brilliantly colored animals of all the mammals. The little fireball monkey has a big gold-orange-yellow ruff or mane of long hair around its face and neck covering its ears. Some of them are a very light golden color, others are rather bright orange and still others have some dark brown coloration as well. The hands, feet and face however are a dark brown or purple-ish color. It is a small-medium sized monkey averaging about 8 inches (20 cm) tall with a tail about that long also.
It is a very high-strung monkey that likes to play and fight with its friends and family. It lives in small groups and communicates frequently within its group. It is agile, leaping from tree branch to branch as it looks for fruit, insects, eggs, lizards, or birds to eat. At night or when it gets really hot during the day it will seek out little hollows in trees to sleep and hide from possible predators.
Both parents are involved in rearing of their young taking turns watching over them until they are old enough to go on their own after about six months.
It is an endangered species as there may only be 1000 or less individuals left in the wild. It lives in a small region in the Southeastern part of Brazil near the coast. Maybe that is why they appear sad in some of the photos but we are rooting for them to re-populate!
The specimens in the photo below are the golden-headed lion tamarins easy distinguishable by the dark fur on the body.