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A Playful Bearded Tamarin

Updated on March 25, 2011
A Playful Bearded Tamarin
A Playful Bearded Tamarin | Source

One cannot help but be enraptured by one’s first encounter with this impish and comical creature. The playful Bearded Tamarin is a diminutive and endearing clown of a primate, tiny and fuzzy and antic and cute. (And, as illustrated above, quite capable of mugging for the camera or sketchbook.) Most such primates of the New World are usually referred to as Bearded Emperor Tamarins; this is due to the fact that the broad and sweeping whiskers extending from their cheeks bore a striking resemblance — at least in the eyes of early explorers — to the facial hairstyle of the stocky German Emperor Wilhelm II, who ruled through portions of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

This particular specimen of Saguinis imperator subgrisescens is not so heavily  or tuftily whiskered; he obviously prefers a more closely shaven appearance — kind of like that three-day stubble of your typical modern movie action hero. It’s a current hit among the female primates, too! But, as evidenced by his posture among the branches of the cracklebark tree, he is certainly playful (as well as seemingly rubber-limbed!).

Observed here in his natural habitat of the mid-level canopy of the Amazonian rain forest, this guy displays his characteristic Chaplinesque charm for our enjoyment. Looks like we’ve made a new friend!

Be careful not to confuse this sweet and playful Tamarin with the sour and acidic Tamarind. A pod-like fruit of the tree of the same name, the Tamarind is used throughout many nations around the globe as a flavorant for beverages, candies, chutnneys, snacks and desserts. As it is also a natural laxative, one might say the Tamarind can run just about as well as the nimble Tamarin


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    • rickzimmerman profile image

      rickzimmerman 7 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Don't mean to be rude to a fellow primate, but is that a way for 'monkey see monkey do'?

    • CMCastro profile image

      Christina M. Castro 7 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

      Well, it is nice to meet this little guy for the first time. Somehow I feel I have a way with communication of these little guys. One experience at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. I decided to just stay for a few moments to pause at the "monkey" display. I started talking to one, they all came up and wanted to hear what I had to say. (BTW, I was an adult when I did this, so I found it very amusing.) So picture at least 10 Tamarins clustering together inside an outdoor cage staring at one woman. Thanks for giving me something to smile about.

      P.S. I have a chimpanzee on top of my monitor looking at me always.