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The mane of the hour

Much like a lion's mane, the golden-headed lion tamarin, Leontopithecus chrysomelas, has a brilliant display of orange fur framing their face. This mane wonderfully contrasts the black fur of their bodies, not to be confused with the golden lion tamarin (L. rosalia) which is completely gold all over. The golden-headed lion tamarin is one of four species of tamarin, found only in the tropical rainforests of Brazil. Unfortunately, due to major deforestation and loss of habitat, all four species are considered endangered [1].

Leontopithecus chrysomelas by Hans Hillewaert, [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via

Like many primate species, golden-headed lion tamarins are social animals that live in groups of 2-11 individuals. Twins are the most common offspring for the golden-headed lion tamarins, while single, triplet, and quadruplet offspring being less common [2]. As for raising their young, both parents tend to take an equal role in child rearing.

Today, we release the chromosome-length assembly of the golden-headed lion tamarin, Leontopithecus chrysomelas! This is another $1K genome assembly, with a contig n50 = 48 KB and a scaffold n50 = 118 MB. For procedure details see Dudchenko et al., 2018 and our Methods page. We thank twin siblings Maya and Marcos from the Houston Zoo for providing the material used to generate this genome assembly. Read more about Maya and Marcos in this blog post by the Houston Zoo!

This genome marks the 25th primate we've released on the DNA Zoo blog, browse our other releases here! Finally, check out the 23 chromosomes of golden-headed lion tamarin in the interactive Juicebox.js session below:

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