Emperor Tamarin Fact Sheet

Common Name:

Emperor tamarin

Scientific Name:

Saguinus imperator

Wild Status:

Least Concern


lowland, rainforest, forets


Peru, Bolivia, Brazil



Life Span:

10-20 years


Body length: 9.2-10.4"; Tail length: 14-16.6"

Cool Facts:

  • Emperor tamarins are omnivores. Their main source of food is fruit, but are also known to eat insects, nectar, leaves, and gum.
  • Emperor tamarins live in groups made up of as many as 15 individuals.
  • Males help females give birth. They will take newborns and bath them after birth.
  • At around 16-20 months old, emperor tamarins have their first reproduction.
  • Dominant emperor tamarins form mixed species foraging groups


Emperor tamarins are small dark-furred monkeys. The fur on their face, hands, and feet are a dark brown/gray. The fur on its body is mostly gray with some gold, red, and white. They have long, red tails with a dark tip. Emperor tamarins are most notably know for the long white whiskers that look like a mustache. Like most new world monkeys, they do not have opposable thumb. Instead, they have claws, instead of nail on their hands and feet that help them climb trees. Their big toes are the only digits without claws.

Taxonomic Breakdown:

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Primates Suborder: Haplorhini Infraorder: Simiiformes Family: Callitrichidae Genus: Saguinus Species: S. imperator

Conservation & Helping:

The emperor tamarin is listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List. They are not protected under law but there is concern of declining population due to habitat loss. Emperor tamarins living within the Manú National Park in Peru are protected.

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