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Golden Lion Tamarin

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The golden lion tamarin (also called the golden lion marmoset) is a small, squirrel-sized mammal with a lion-like mane. Tamarins live in small family groups. They are diurnal (most active during the day); at night, they rest in the cavity of a tree. The life span is about 15 years. They are in danger of extinction due to loss of habitat as their forest home is being cleared.

Habitat and Distribution: These tamarins are arboreal (they live in trees). They live in coastal tropical rainforests in eastern Brazil, South America.

Anatomy: Golden lion tamarins are covered with long, silky, gold-colored fur; the face, hands and feet are bare. Adult golden lion tamarins range from about 8 to 14 inches (20-36 cm) long plus a tail that is from 12 to 15 inches (31-40 cm) long. Unlike most other primates, they have claws (and not flat nails). Males and females are similar in appearance.

Diet: The golden lion tamarin is an omnivore (eating both animals and plants); it eats insects, fruit, small snakes, lizards, snails, spiders, and vegetables. Tamarins use their claws to dig for insects in the bark of trees.

Enemies: The golden lion tamarin is hunted by eagles, hawks, jaguars, jaguarundis, ocelots, and snakes.

Classification:Kingdom Animalia (animals), Class Mammalia (mammals), Order Primates, Family Callitrichidae (marmosets, tamarins), Genus Leontopithecus, Species L. rosalia.

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