Species: Saguinus imperator
HABITAT AND RANGE:
The Emperor Tamarin is found in various
forms of light, dry-bottom to densely
grown Amazonian tropical forest regions.
Their territories are between 75-100
acres and also span open woodlands and
secondary growth. This species is
arboreal, spending most of its time in
trees, usually below 80-95 feet
elevation. They can be found in tropical
forest in southeast Peru, northwest
Bolivia, and northwest Brazil and
several river drainages in Peru,
including the Acre, Purus, and Jurua
have populations of this species
Emperor tamarins are approximately
9.2-10.4 inches in body length with a
tail length of 14-16.6 inches. They are
relatively light weight, reaching only
between 10.7-14.2 oz at full size. The
"Emperors" are mainly gray on their
bodies, with a mixture of fine yellow
hair on their backs and a rusty-red
scattering of color on their breast.
They also have a silvery brown crown,
black hands and feet, and a reddish
brown tail. Most characteristic of this
species is its extremely long, white
moustache that hangs down to its chest
(and extends past its shoulders when
laid back) in two strands. Like most
tamarins, this species has claws on all
of its fingers and toes except the great
toe, which has a nail.
They are active by day and are very
graceful, friendly, and playful monkeys.
Emperor tamarins have often been
observed living in association with
other tamarin species. It is believed to
be advantageous to both groups of the
association by aiding with the detection
of and defense against predators, and
allowing more efficient food harvesting.
Their light weight enables them to feed
on the outermost twigs and branches of
such trees, giving them access to food
sources that are less readily available
to larger monkeys. They are "leapers" in
their motor behavior and move through
trees with rather quick, jerky
movements. Their small size also enables
them to stalk large insects very
The diet of the Emperor Tamarin consists
mainly of fruits, insects, and tree sap.
They have also been known to eat smaller
vertebrates such as lizards, tree frogs,
and bird eggs.
REPRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT:
The groups that Emperor Tamarins live in
contain several sexually mature members,
in particular, 2 adult males. Group
members are ranked by sex and age such
that the oldest female has the highest
rank. In addition to helping at birth,
both males of the group help rear the
youngest members, and the younger
members act as porters.
STATUS IN WILD:
They are considered endangered or
threatened in Brazil and Peru.