Golden-headed lion tamarin

Latin Name
Leontopithecus chrysomelas




This small primate is named for the bright-gold mane surrounding its head. The body is dark brown to black, with golden markings along the arms and tail.



This species is found only in the southern portion of Brazil's state of Bahia.


Golden-headed lion tamarins are endangered due to habitat loss and the illegal pet trade. Much of the species’ rain forest habitat has been destroyed in favor of lumber, agriculture and livestock. Lincoln Park Zoo helps conserve the species by participating in the Golden-headed Lion Tamarin Species Survival Plan®.


The golden-headed lion tamarin favors the middle to upper canopy of the rain forest.


This small primate spends almost all of its time in the trees, where it feeds primarily on fruit and insects.

Life History

Golden-headed lion tamarins live in groups consisting of a breeding pair and their young offspring. Individuals keep in contact with vocalizations as they forage for food. Adults are territorial and will attempt to drive other golden-headed lion tamarins from their area.

Bonus Content

A golden-headed lion tamarin isn’t sure what to make of Chicago-style pizza.

Animals Eat the Skyline at Chi-Cow-Go
The zoo celebrated Chicago’s 175th birthday with a bovine bash. The fun kicked off with the unveiling of a redesigned "Cows on Parade" statue before moving to the rest of the zoo with Chicago-themed animal enrichment.


ARKive Media

ARKive image - Golden-headed lion tamarin with infant on back ARKive image - Golden-headed lion tamarin with infant on back ARKive image - Golden-headed lion tamarin

ARKive is creating the ultimate multimedia guide to the world's endangered species.
Visit ARKive for thousands more films, photos and fact-files!

Lincoln Park Zoo Exhibit