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Emperor tamarin

Saguinus imperator

Allegedly named after the German Emperor Wilhelm II, Emperor tamarins get their name from the regal appearance of their long white moustache.

Interesting fact: At birth, young tamarins weigh a remarkable 25 percent of the female's body weight!

Find out more...


Habitat & threats

Tropical rain forests and also in open tree-covered areas. Rapid destruction of their habitat leaves this animal at risk in the wild. Natural predators include small cats, birds of prey and snakes.



Their basic diet consists mainly of fruit but they also spend about 3.5 hours a day in search of prey such as insects and frogs. During the dry season, more tree sap is eaten, which runs from wounds in tree bark that are previously gouged by marmosets.


Breeding and social dynamics

The Emperor tamarin lives in family groups of two to eight animals. The oldest female leads the group. Mutual grooming plays an important role for bonding and socializing. Twins are usually born after a gestation of 140-145 days and the whole family help with rearing the youngsters.



Part of a managed European breeding programme.