Emperor tamarins are thought to have been named after the Emperor of Germany, Emperor Wilhelm II, due to their long, white moustaches.
Head and body length: 23-26cm, Tail length: 35-41.5cm, Weight: 350-450g.
Emperor tamarins have long, white moustaches, and black hands, feet and caps. Their bodies are grey/brown with white under-parts and their tails are orange/red.
Emperor tamarins range across Brazil and Peru.
They prefer lowland, evergreen and broadleaf forests and densely-grown forest margins.
They mainly feed on fruit during the wet season, along with a very small proportion of nectar, sap and fungi. During the dry season, nectar becomes the most important component of their diet, along with fruit and a small amount of flowers, sap, ants, snails and insect larvae.
Emperor tamarins typically live in groups of four, usually with one female and three males. They run or walk quadrupedally (on four legs) across the forest floor, and are capable of leaping across branches. Emperor tamarins are diurnal and arboreal (tree-living). They have territories of up to 30-40 ha, which they patrol regularly and defend against other tamarins. They call loudly to announce their presence, particularly near territorial boundaries. At night, they sleep in large isolated trees, near to other group members.
After a gestation period of 140-145 days, females give birth to two infants. The young are cared for by all the members of the troop, including the males.
The black-chinned emperor tamarin subspecies (S.i.imperator) is considered to be Vulnerable by the IUCN.