Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Leontopithecus(Leontideus) Lesson, 1840

Platyrrhine genus to which the lion or golden tamarins belong; consists of from one to four allopatric species, depending on authority. Found only in primary forest of southeastern Brazil. Arboreal; diurnal; arboreal quadrupeds. Largest of the callitrichids, ranging in body mass from 450 to 700 g. Dental formula: 2.1.3.2; frugivorous with insect supplements. Possesses modified nails that have been laterally compressed to form claws on all digits except the hallux. Long slender fingers are used to reach into crevices and hollows of trees to snare insects. Lives in family groups, but may combine with other units to form temporary associations that number up to 20 animals. All species highly endangered.

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