The red-handed tamarin (Saquinas midas), also known as the golden-handed or midas tamarin, is a New World monkey named for the reddish hair on their feet and hands. It is native to the in wooded areas along the Amazon River in Brazil, Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, and Venezuela.
They live in cooperative groups of 4 to 15 members with little competition among a group even between breeding males. Only one female among a group will breed during breeding season. The gestation period is 140 to 170 days and mothers typically give birth to two offspring.
Young tamarins are cared for primarily by the father and turned over to the mother only to nurse. The entire group helps with the care of the young.
Defense is a priority in a group, and when one tamarin is threatened the others will rush to its defense. The red-handed tamarin is territorial and can be aggressive. It has sharp canines and claws instead of fingernails on all fingers and all but the large toe.
The red-handed tamarin is an exceptional climber and spends most of its time among the vines and branches of the trees. They are quick and agile. They are superb jumpers known to jump distances of over 60 feet from a tree to the ground with no sign of injury.
The tamarin’s diet consists of fruit, flowers, insects, frogs, spiders, lizards, and nectar.
The red-handed tamarin’s body measures 8.07 to 11.02 inches (20.5 to 28 cm). The tail measures 12.20 to 17.32 inches (31 to 44 cm). They weigh 14.11 to 19.4 oz (400 to 550 grams). Their life expectancy is approximately 10 years in the wild and 16 years in captivity.
Their natural predators are small cats, birds of prey, and snakes. Due to the destruction of their natural habitat the livelihood of the species is at risk.