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Animal World: Our Co-inhabitants

Emperor Tamarin: Adorable Monkeys with a Royal Mustache

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The Amazon rainforest is truly a paradise for us monkeys! My kind, the emperor tamarin, also known by scientists as saguinus imperator, is a small-sized monkey species found mainly in the southwestern Amazon Basin located in Peru, with our population also spreading east to the northern part of Bolivia and into the state of Amazonas in Brazil.

Emperor tamarins are characterized by a monotone-colored appearance. Our hands, feet and faces are usually black-colored, and our long tails are reddish with tips of grey. Indeed, our tails are remarkably longer than our bodies! Female emperor tamarins usually give birth to one or two babies each time. Males are involved in washing the newborn babies right after birth and are known to care for the infants until they are six to seven weeks old.

Interestingly, our most unique and distinguishing feature is the long, white mustache, which is present in both genders. In 1907, Émil Goeldi, a Swiss zoologist named us “emperor” as a playful reference to German Emperor Wilhelm II because of this trait resembling the Kaiser’s mustache. We are definitely not afraid of heights and feel completely at home in trees as tall as 27 meters. Our groups are often led by the eldest female, with older males being of lesser rank. This practice is unusual among other species of monkeys, where males are generally the dominant gender.

However, we are constantly facing the challenge of population decline due to deforestation. The Guardian newspaper in the UK reported that 20% of the Amazon rainforest has been impacted in the past 40 years with the main cause of the deforestation being animal livestock grazing. Could you imagine a world without the Amazon rainforest, which is considered the lungs of the world, because it annually absorbs 5-10% of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions globally? The Amazon rainforest is not only the place we call home but is also extremely important to help regulate the entire planet’s climate for all beings. Please help to save our home, the Amazon rainforest, and this beautiful planet. Adopt a vegan lifestyle so that the animal livestock industry will no longer exist.

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