East coast of Brazil near Rio de Janeiro
Location in the Zoo
Carruth Natural Encounters
Cool Animal Fact
They sleep in tree holes at nights for warmth and protection from predators; they are nest cavity dwellers like all marmosets and tamarin species.
How We Help Save Them
Golden lion tamarins were near extinction in Brazil, but zoos, including the Houston Zoo, have worked together to breed the tiny monkeys for release into protected forests; today there is a thriving population of golden lion tamarins in the wild.
Where to See Them Inside the Zoo
Living with the howler monkeys in this mixed species habitat are a pair of small, bright orange golden lion tamarins. These boisterous monkeys weigh less than a pound each and use roughly 40 different screams and chirps to communicate what is happening around them.
On the ground, guests will spy a couple of red-rumped agouti. These unusual rodents have large front teeth that can crack through a Brazil nut and can use their powerful back legs to jump as high as six feet in the air. These rodents are the “cleanup crew” of South America’s forests. Monkeys are messy eaters, so plenty of fruits and nuts fall to the ground for agouti to forage.