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Interview with Emperor Tamarin Monkey

Updated on December 10, 2014
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."

Comments for Interview with Emperor Tamarin Monkey

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    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Whatever you say, hasna, whatever you say.

    • profile image

      hasna 

      3 years ago

      Orido tamarin altars job interview safha 107

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      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.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      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. :)

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      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.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 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....

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      4 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.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      4 years ago from south Florida

      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.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      4 years ago from south Florida

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

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      4 years ago from south Florida

      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 imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      4 years ago from south Florida

      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 imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      4 years ago from south Florida

      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 imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      4 years ago from south Florida

      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 imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      4 years ago from south Florida

      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 imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      4 years ago from south Florida

      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 imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      4 years ago from south Florida

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

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      4 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.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

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

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 

      4 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.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      4 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 :)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      4 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!!!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 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.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 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

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 

      4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

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

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      4 years ago from south Florida

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

    • profile image

      ArtDiva 

      4 years ago

      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.

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