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Fun Golden-headed Lion Tamarin Facts For Kids

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The golden-headed lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysomelas), also known as the golden-headed tamarin, is a species of primates found only in the Atlantic forest of East Brazil and the fragments of forests in the Bahia region of Brazil. It is pretty small in size. Its average body length is about 8-13 in (20-33 cm), with an average tail length of 12-15 in (30.5- 38 cm). The average weight of the species is about 17.6-24.6 oz (500-700 g). It has a black body with a golden mane that is contrasting and beautiful. It also has golden-orange fur on their legs and tails. It is omnivorous and feeds on plants, flower nectar, and fruits, as well as small snakes, bird eggs, insects, larvae, frogs, and lizards. It is arboreal and diurnal. Active during days, these monkeys are also territorial. They live in small family groups, and if they come into contact with other groups, fights often break out. Golden-headed lion tamarins are an Endangered species, and their numbers are decreasing due to habitat loss and pet trade.

If you want to read more amazing animal articles, do check out other mammals like Geoffroy's marmoset and Coquerel's sifaka.

Fun Golden-headed Lion Tamarin Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Bird eggs, lizards, larvae, frogs, insects, and small snakes

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

17.6-24.6 oz (500-700 g)

How long are they?

Body length: 8-13 in (20-33 cm)Tail length: 12-15 in (30.5- 38 cm)‍

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black, golden

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Habitat Destruction

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them?

Tropical Evergreen Forests











Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a golden-headed lion tamarin?

The golden-headed lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysomelas) is a type of small primate found in the tropical forests of Bahia, Brazil. They are endemic to Brazil and not found anywhere else in the wild.

What class of animal does a golden-headed lion tamarin belong to?

The golden-headed lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysomelas) belongs to the mammal class of the Animalia kingdom and the genus of Leontopithecus.

How many golden-headed lion tamarins are there in the world?

The exact numbers are unknown. However, it is believed that there are about 6000 golden-headed lion tamarins in the wild. Since they are only found in one location, habitat destruction has caused their population to decrease rapidly. These primates are now an Endangered species.

Where does a golden-headed lion tamarin live?

Golden-headed lion tamarins are found exclusively in a few tropical forest habitats in Bahia, Brazil, and also in the Atlantic Forest of East Brazil.

What is a golden-headed lion tamarin's habitat?

Golden-headed lion tamarins are endemic to Eastern Brazil's Atlantic forest and a few forest fragments in the state of Baha in Brazil. They prefer tropical evergreen forests. They can also live in semi-deciduous forests. They are often seen in trees at 10-33 ft (3-10 m) above the ground. But due to habitat loss, their preferred habitats have gone down by a significant amount. They can also be found in secondary forests if food is abundant. Even though they live in smaller groups, these territorial primates have large home ranges. This helps them to find food without trouble. They also travel within their home range a lot throughout the day.

Who do golden-headed lion tamarins live with?

Golden-headed lion tamarins mostly live in small family groups. These groups may include one or two adult males, one adult female, and their respective offspring. Sometimes there are more adults in the group, but they are usually the older offspring of the parents. This species is very territorial and avoids other groups. But if they do encounter other family groups, they are very aggressive and often fight each other. These fights include long calls, chases, and physical aggression.

How long does a golden-headed lion tamarin live?

The average lifespan of golden-headed lion tamarins is about eight years in the wild. But they tend to live longer in captivity under precise human care.

How do they reproduce?

The mating system of golden-headed lion tamarins is pretty similar to that of other marmosets and tamarins. The females reach sexual maturity at the age of one and a half years, while males reach sexual maturity at two years of age. They usually only mate once a year. The breeding season happens mostly in the wet and warm seasons. Their breeding season lasts from September through March. The males and females usually mate for life, as is common in tamarins. The gestation period for these primates is about four months. After that, the females usually give birth to twins, but the number of offspring can go up to four. The first few days, the mother carries the young with her. But after that, both the males and females help in raising and taking care of them.

What is their conservation status?

The golden-headed lion tamarins have an Endangered status in the IUCN Red List. Their population trend is also decreasing. But thankfully, steps are being taken to save them from extinction in the wild.

Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin Fun Facts

What do golden-headed lion tamarins look like?

Golden-headed lion tamarins are a small primate species found in Brazil. The average body length of these monkeys is about 8-13 in (20-33 cm), and their average tail length is about 12-15 in (30.5- 38 cm). The average weight of golden-headed lion tamarins is 17.6-24.6 oz (500-700 g). They have a mostly black body. They have a mane of golden-orange fur around their face that gives them their name. They also have this golden-orange coloring on their legs and tails. Like other marmosets and tamarins, this species also has non-opposable thumbs. They also have long nails on all their fingers except their big toes. Their long fingers help them find prey in epiphytic bromeliads, crevices, and tree holes. They walk on four legs and mostly live in trees. They have large canine teeth that are used for biting prey.

Golden-headed lion tamarins are fascinating primates.

How cute are they?

To look at, these tamarins are very cute. Their golden-orange fur is beautiful and impressive and they appear sweet, however, they prefer to keep to themselves and are not the most affectionate wild animals!

How do they communicate?

There are a few ways through which golden-headed lion tamarins communicate with each other. The most common one is vocalization. They make several sounds that include long calls for pair bonds, trills for solitary activity, and clucks while foraging. They also use scent marks to mark their territory. When they are angry, their hair stands up.

How big is a golden-headed lion tamarin?

The average body length of adult golden-headed lion tamarins is about 8-13 in (20-33 cm), and their tails are about 12-15 in (30.5- 38 cm) long. They are smaller primates that live in trees. Their lengthy tails are helpful in the process. In comparison, the emperor tamarin body length is 9-10 in and tail length is 13.8–16.3 in, which is almost similar.

How fast can a golden-headed lion tamarin move?

The exact speed of golden-headed lion tamarins is unknown. But since they cover a large home range compared to their small size, they move pretty fast between trees.

How much does a golden-headed lion tamarin weigh?

The average weight of golden-headed lion tamarins is about 17.6-24.6 oz (500-700 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the males and females of the species. They are simply called male golden-headed lion tamarins and female golden-headed lion tamarins.

What would you call a baby golden-headed lion tamarin?

Like every other primate species, the youngs of the golden-headed lion tamarins are also called infants.

What do they eat?

Golden-headed lion tamarins are an omnivorous species. They eat plants, fruits like bananas or apples, flower nectar, insects, larvae, lizards, bird eggs, small snakes, and frogs. They usually start their days with fruits and nectar. This sugar intake in the morning gives them the energy to hunt animal prey later in the day. The home range they defend is much larger compared to their size and thus have a varied diet. They usually hunt in epiphytic bromeliads. But they also find animal prey in tree holes, crevices, and leaf piles.

Are they dangerous?

These primates are not technically dangerous to humans. They are found in forests and keep to themselves. But they can be dangerous to other monkeys as they are territorial. Fights often break out between groups when they come across each other.

Would they make a good pet?

Even though these are very smart and cute animals, it is not a good idea to have them as pets. Mostly because they are wild animals that require a lot of care even when in captivity. Also, because their numbers have been severely depleted by the pet trade already. So it is not a good idea to keep tamarins as pets. But since they are so low in numbers in the wild, a captive breeding program exists for them. This works as a safety net for the species.

Did you know...

Golden-headed lion tamarins are diurnal creatures. They are active during the day and use tree holes to sleep in during the night. However, monkeys are generally diurnal except night monkeys.

There are a few animals that prey on tamarins. This includes eagles, hawks, snakes, and big cats.

Why is the golden-headed lion tamarin endangered?

The golden-headed lion tamarins are endangered due to a severe reason, and that is habitat destruction. Most of their habitat has been destroyed by humans. And since they inhabit such a small range, their numbers are still decreasing. But there are some captive breeding programs in place for them that act as a safety net in case their numbers drop to dangerous lows.

How did the golden-headed lion tamarin get its name?

Golden-headed lion tamarins get their name for their appearance. They have a lion-like golden mane around their faces while most of their body is black. They are very beautiful.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our colobus monkey facts and spider monkey facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Golden-headed lion tamarin coloring pages.

Written By
Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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