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emperor tamarin


emperor tamarin Fast Facts

  • Location: Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia and Peru
  • Habitat: Amazonian lowland montane rain forests
  • Lifespan: 10 - 20 years
  • Diet: Omnivore - fruit, flowers, gum and invertebrates
  • Length: 35 - 41cm
  • Weight: 500g


Emperor tamarins can be found in Peru and Bolivia, parts of the southwest Amazon Basin in Brazil. They like to live in lower mountain rainforests, primary and secondary forests. They will forage for flowers and fruits, gouge out sap and gum from the trees and hunt for insects. They live in groups of 2 to 18 individuals depending on the resources available in their area. The group is led by one dominant female and her mate. The dominant female is the only breeder in the group and will mate with several males. Due to the high possibility of twin births in tamarins, parental care is key for the infant survival. Therefore by the female mating with several males she recieve more support in raising her young. Males will often carry and be very protective of the young whilst the female forages.



They eat a variety of fruits and flowers that are often readily available in the rainforest. They will also eat the plant gum and sap which they will gouge from the trees. They will also eat small insects and frogs.



Emperor tamarins can begin breeding around 16–20 months, with a gestation period of up to 6 months. They are seasonal breeders, combining births with the wet season when there is an abundance of food available. There is a dominant female in the group that will mate with several males improving her chances of the males supporting and protecting the young when they are born. Females very often give birth to twins, and other females in the group which are called "helpers" will carry a youngster allowing the mother to go off and feed and build up her energy levels.


Threats + Conservation

They are considered to be a least concern species, however their populations are in decline. The main threat and casue of their decline is habitat loss due to housing developments, agriculture and deforestation.


Fun facts

The emperor tamarin is a species of tamarin allegedly named for its resemblance to the German emperor Wilhelm II. Communication key for the emperor tamarin, helping to coordinate and keep the group together. They use the Long Call to do this and it can be heard by humans from over 150m away.


emperor tamarin Gallery

Saguinus imperator


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