AskDefine | Define tamarin

Dictionary Definition

tamarin n : small South American marmoset with silky fur and long nonprehensile tail [syn: lion monkey, lion marmoset, leoncita]

User Contributed Dictionary



(US) IPA: /ˈtæmərɪn/


  1. one of a family of squirrel-sized South American monkeys

Extensive Definition

The tamarins are any of the squirrel-sized New World monkeys from the family Cebidae, classified as the genus Saguinus. The closely related lion tamarins are in genus Leontopithecus.
Tamarin habitats range from southern Central America (Costa Rica) through middle South America (Amazon basin and north Bolivia, however not in the mountainous parts).
The various species of tamarins differ considerably according to their appearance, ranging from nearly all black through mixtures of black, brown and white. Many species typically have mustache-like facial hairs. Their body size ranges from 18 to 30 cm (plus a 25 to 44 cm long tail) and they weigh from 220 to 900 grams. Tamarins differ from marmosets primarily in the fact that the lower canine teeth are clearly longer than the incisors.
Tamarins are inhabitants of tropical rain forests and open forest areas. They are diurnal and arboreal, and run and jump quickly through the trees. Tamarins live together in groups of up to 40 members consisting of one or more families. More frequently, though, groups are composed of just three to nine members.
Tamarins are omnivores, eating fruits and other plant parts as well as spiders, insects, small vertebrates and bird eggs.
Gestation is typically 140 days, and births are normally twins. The father primarily cares for the young, bringing them to their mother to nurse. After approximately one month the young begin to eat solid food, although they aren't fully weaned for another two to three months. They reach full maturity in their second year.
In captivity, tamarins live to be 18 years old.



tamarin in German: Tamarine
tamarin in Spanish: Saguinus
tamarin in French: Tamarin (animal)
tamarin in Ido: Saguino
tamarin in Lithuanian: Tamarinai
tamarin in Dutch: Tamarins
tamarin in Polish: Tamaryna
tamarin in Portuguese: Sagüi
tamarin in Swedish: Tamariner
tamarin in Chinese: 檉柳猴屬
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