Interview with Emperor Tamarin Monkey

Emperor Tamarin Monkey
Emperor Tamarin Monkey | Source

Interview with Emperor Tamarin Monkey

I did not have to travel far to interview the Emperor Tamarin monkey – the Palm Beach Zoo in Florida has a large collection of these agile little monkeys.

I selected the largest, strongest-looking one, and utilizing my supernatural communication skills, here is what I learned.

me – Good afternoon, Mr. Tamarin. Would you mind answering a few questions?

Tamarin monkey – You are just like all the rest of your kind. Making assumptions based on size and facial hair.

I am a female tamarin monkey. You have the honor of speaking to the matriarch and leader of this group. You may call me Tamara.

me – Please forgive me. I apologize for that false assumption. It must have been your flowing, beautiful white moustache …

Tamara – Don’t grovel – it’s a mistake most visitors make. All Emperor Tamarin monkeys, both male and female, possess this abundant white facial hair.

Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany (1859-1941)
Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany (1859-1941) | Source

me – It’s easy to see how the Emperor Tamarin monkey got its name. With your long, flowing, elegant white moustaches you do resemble the former German monarch, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany.

Tamara – You mean the Emperor looked like us. Right?

me – Right! Where was your home before?

Tamara – You mean before we were kidnapped and forcibly brought to America? We were happy and content as we frolicked and raised our families in the tropical rainforests of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia in South America.

Footnote: Swiss zoologist, Emilio Goeldi, gave the tamarin monkey (saguinus imperator) the nickname of ‘emperor’ as a joke. Goeldi is long gone but the name remains.

My current boyfriend, Thor, and me
My current boyfriend, Thor, and me | Source

me – Are all Emperor Tamarin monkeys as vocal and ‘in-your-face’ as you?

Tamara – Only the matriarchs – the oldest and strongest females. We need to be more forceful and powerful to rule our groups. Like Hilary Clinton. [laughing]

me – [amazed] You are familiar with U.S. politics?

Tamara – Of course. Isn’t everyone? Except the members of Congress! [more hysterical laughter]

me – [changing the subject] Do those two adorable baby monkeys with you also have names?

Tamara – Those are my youngest – the twins, Chip and Dale.

me – Is that a tiny green tree frog they are teasing?

Tamara – [yelling at them] Boys! Stop playing with your food this instant! Eat it NOW!

Dining on crickets - yummm!
Dining on crickets - yummm! | Source

me – Youngsters are the same all over the world. What other delicacies make up your diet?

Tamara – In the wild, an ordinary meal consists of insects – crickets are my favorite – plants, fruits, snails and tree nectar. We supplement that with frogs, tiny rodents, and baby reptiles.

A special treat are the eggs we find in birds’ nests.

me – You rob birds of their eggs?

Tamara – I prefer to use the term that we appropriate them. It is a jungle out there, you know.

me – You mentioned that your youngsters are twins. Is that unusual?

Tamara – Not at all. Twin births are common to our species.

me – You called yourself the matriarch of the group. What are the responsibilities of this role?

Tamara – Each troop of Emperor Tamarin monkeys usually has from four to eight members – mostly male. As the leader, I am the Queen Bee utilizing all the adult males for cohabitation, if you know what I mean.

Only one female – me – in the group breeds.

All the members of the group including the adult males help with baby care during the day by carrying them around except when they are suckling. As the matriarch, I do much of the foraging for food because of my unique vision. [proudly]

me – Which is?

Tamara – I am a trichomat – I can see three colors. This allows me to detect ripe fruit easier than my compatriots who are dichromats and can only detect two colors.

Tamarins staring at visitors at the San Francisco Zoo

These baby tamarins enjoy selfies.
These baby tamarins enjoy selfies. | Source

me – Since you are a relatively small species of monkey and appear to weigh less than a pound, there must be a number of predators you have to avoid.

Tamara –Fortunately, we Emperor Tamarins are extremely agile in avoiding predators like wild cats, dogs, snakes and hawks. Our biggest problem is humans who are destroying our natural habitat with logging and land development.

me – You seem to be popular though with a number of humans who are exotic pet collectors.

Tamara – That’s true because we are very social animals accustomed to mutual grooming. In captivity, we are very interactive with humans.

me – I have noticed how you all appear to enjoy being stroked and petted by humans.

Tamara – We have a need for tenderness, and will complacently lie on our backs in order to indicate to our caretakers that we would enjoy more special attention – like domesticated pussy cats.

me – Thank you, Tamara, for sharing all this interesting information. May you continue to thrive.

Tamara – Forgive my initial aggressive stance and brusque demeanor – it goes with the job. Vaya con Dios.

me - As a matriarch myself - without your perks - I understand. [laughing]

© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2014. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So."

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Comments for Interview with Emperor Tamarin Monkey 27 comments

ArtDiva profile image

ArtDiva 2 years ago from Yountville, CA

This is just too funny. LOL! Especially considering developing conversations with my cat is on the back burner. No lie. Truth. This is just plain fun.


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

And you, m'dear, are just plain sweet. Thanks for being the promptest, nicest commenter. Looking forward to your feline's thoughts.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

You haven't lost your touch! Voted up and hilarious!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Hahaha ... so clever and funny as ever, dear drbj! What an adorable and interesting animal, the Emperor Tamarin monkey. I learned a lot through your wonderful here and laughed a lot too, so thank you.

What a moustache!!!

Up +++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

Blessings always


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

He is a distinguished looking chap, isn't he, and so loquacious. A wonderful interview. LOL You continue to crack me up, my friend.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 2 years ago

If you can communicate with such a rare monkey, perhaps you could attempt to chat it up with Nancy Pelosi, who remains a complete enigma to most sane Americans. Voted up and funny!!!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

At a time in our history the moustache of the Emperor Tamarin Monkey was quite a popular model. Very interesting interview, and, as always, drbj, your humour takes the cake :)


Ann1Az2 profile image

Ann1Az2 2 years ago from Orange, Texas

What an original piece of work! I love it. And I don't know which is cuter, the mustache or the eyes. I've never heard of this monkey until now. So thank you for sharing and making it enjoyable at the same time.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Your interviews are always funny and informative, drbj. This one is no exception!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

I love your interviews and I love the subjects you choose! Now this Tamarin Monkey is one I'd never heard of or seen. Isn't it grand she decided to cooperate and provide so much information. After all, being a Queen Bee she could've just turned you down!

Great hub and adorable video.

Voted up, useful, funny, and interesting.


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

Nor have you, Will. Your short tales as still compelling. Thanks for the visit, the Up and the 'hilarious.'


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks, Faith, for finding Tamara as adorable and interesting as I did. Delighted to provide you with some laughter. And thanks for your gracious comments as always as well as the sharing and pinning and etc.

That moustache of hers has to be an award-winner! :)


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

Tamara is almost as loquacious as you, Bill. She must have been reading your fine treatises on writing and communication. Cracking you up, y'know, is one of my favorite things to do. ;)


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, bp. I admire intelligent, savvy female politicians who have the ability to communicate and persuade their colleagues. Unfortunately, Pelosi and Feinstein are not among them. Thanks for stopping by, the Up and the 'funny.'


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, bp. I admire intelligent, savvy female politicians who have the ability to communicate and persuade their colleagues. Unfortunately, Pelosi and Feinstein are not among them. Thanks for stopping by, the Up and the 'funny.'


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Martie. I remember a professor from a long, long time ago with one of those Emperor Wilhelm/Fu Manchu moustaches. As students, we were all so fascinated with his moustache-twirling-fetish, we neglected to listen to his profound pedagogy.

So happy to be 'taking the cake' in your estimation, m'luv.


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Ann, for loving this piece of the work, the monkey, its unusual moustache and its big eyes. Sharing and making the information enjoyable is my pleasure.


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Alicia. Thank you for finding this funny and informative - that's what I love to do.


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Mary. It's true, as a Queen Bee, Tamara could have refused to be interviewed. She was rather standoffish at the beginning. But her matriarchal nature took over and she seemed to be enjoying sharing her experiences.

Thank you for your sublime comments - you are most appreciated. Tamara agrees with me, too.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Lol! This was more than an interesting delight...it raised my spirits and brought a huge smile on this cold and rainy morning. Thank you, and hugs.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is absolutely your best! I'm still smiling after lol at your political satire, plus Chip and Dale was a winner! I watched the video, they are so cute. I wonder what they are thinking when people are watching them? My closest zoo is in Evansville, In. They don't have any monkies like the Tamarin breed, I wish they did. Thank you for another fun hub....


drbj profile image

drbj 24 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Genna. I'm delighted that you enjoyed this - keeps my spirits upbeat, too. Sorry I can't do anything about your cold winter - only commiserate. Thank you for your visit and hugs backatcha.


drbj profile image

drbj 24 months ago from south Florida Author

Hiya, Ruby. Thanks, m'luv, for enjoying this. These tamarin monkeys are adorable and in person you just want to hug them. That's one of the reasons they may become endangered - they are just too cute and the exotic pet trade thrives on that fact.

Thanks for your visit and may your holidays be healthy and happy. :)


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 23 months ago

Great way to educate readers on this animal through your interview/conversation. I will have to look for this monkey next visit to the PB zoo. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season.


drbj profile image

drbj 22 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Dianna, please forgive my taking so long to acknowledge your sweet visit. By all means. do visit this unusual monkey on your next visit to the PB zoo. And give Tamara and her colleagues my best regards.


hasna 19 months ago

Orido tamarin altars job interview safha 107


drbj profile image

drbj 19 months ago from south Florida Author

Whatever you say, hasna, whatever you say.

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