The Golden Lion Tamarin is one of the most strikingly colored of all mammals and, unfortunately, one of the most highly endangered. This Tamarin has a magnificent pale to rich reddish-gold coat, and a long, back-swept mane that covers the ears and frames the dark, almost bare face. Adult body length is from 13 to 16 inches, the tail is from 10 to 15 inches long, and the weight from 22 to 25 ounces.
Golden Lion Tamarins live in family groups, and are dependent for shelter upon the hollows that are found in the trunks of old trees. The young are born fully furred and with their eyes open, and weigh an average of 2 ounces. Within a few days after birth the father begins to carry the infant at times, and the father is the principal carrier after the third week of life. Juvenile members of the family also carry and care for the newborn.
Very few Golden Lion Tamarins still exist in the wild. Surveys conducted over the past three years have located wild populations in only 2 areas.