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Emperor Tamarin The Emperor Tamarin is a squirrel sized monkey, who lives in the tropical rainforest and runs and jumps quickly through trees. Since they are small in weight, they can reach for food at the far end of branches. They are diurnal, so they spend most of their days in the trees. Emperor Tamarin monkeys live in groups between 2-8 individuals and can live up to 18 years. Emperor Tamarins are omnivores, meaning that they eat fruits, plants, spiders, insects, small vertebrates and bird eggs. Emperor Tamarin monkeys have developed a good understanding of cooperation and cooperative behavior as an adaptation. Mutual grooming plays an important role for bonding and socializing. The main characteristic of the Emperor Tamarin is his long white mustache which extends to both sides beyond the shoulders.