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Vesperian Bestiary: Tamarin by MoonsongWolf Vesperian Bestiary: Tamarin by MoonsongWolf
Species: Tamarin
Other Names: N/A
Ancestral Species: Golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia)
Original Purpose: Endangered species breeding program
Habitat: Descended from an arboreal species, tamarins prefer to live in areas with plenty of vertical clearance and places to leap and hide. They are commonly found in conservatories and hydroponics farms, although they can survive quite well in mechanical, storage, and factory spaces as long as wireways, ventilation ducts, or other high areas are available to hide and sleep in.
Physical Description: Tamarins are among the smallest primates in the Vesper facility, smaller even than some Vesperian rats, with a weight of 1-2 lbs. They have hairless faces, thick manes of fur around their necks, and long tails. Most tamarins maintain the golden colouration of their ancestors. However, colours have been seen ranging from white to red to grey to black, and white or black spotting is not unheard of. Males and females do not display outward sexual dimorphism.
Frequency: Uncommon
Diet: Tamarins generally feed on plant matter (fruits are preferred, but vegetables, algae, and fungi may be consumed when and where fruit is unavailable). When possible, they supplement their diet with insects or larvae that have been foraged or farmed. Tamarins typically avoid eating meat, but will do so in extreme circumstances.
Intelligence: Sapient; level varies from medium to high, with an average of low.
Social Organization: Tamarins prefer to live in small family groups of 2 to a dozen individuals. However, some tamarins, both related and un-related, will band together in divisions of several dozen or more if the distribution of labour and resources is beneficial. Family groups tend to be led by the oldest member, although the other adults and sub-adults will provide some input. Larger groups tend more toward oligarchies where several individuals hold cooperative power through physical or psychological intimidation. Cronyism and nepotism are common in these scenarios.
Occupations: In family groups, foraging, farming, and house-keeping duties are disseminated according to age and ability. In larger divisions, particularly ones in which tamarins work for or alongside other creatures, they may take on occupations requiring small, articulate hands. Such jobs include electricians, scriveners, and electronics technicians.
Religion: Family groups tend to venerate their departed relatives as emissaries to the spirit world. Specific religious beliefs vary from group to group. While some may also worship a god or gods (who commune with departed relatives), others simply believe in guardian spirits and/or gremlins. In regions where smaller, related groups have been supplanted by larger divisions, ancestor veneration is often augmented or even replaced by beliefs similar to Barbarian voodoo.
Other Notes: Tamarins have a delegation at Central Control, the largest organization within the Vesper Facility.
Related Species: Other primate species reared as parts of endangered species recovery programs, including the cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) and golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana), have been seen in the facility, although they remain quite rare. The former is often pushed out by the more prolific and adventurous golden lion tamarin, while the latter finds difficulty in procuring adequate resources due its larger size. The tufted capuchin (Sapajus apella), often used as a research specimen, likely escaped the facility completely due to their high intelligence, although some are rumoured to exist in very isolated areas without easy access to the outside world.

Artwork is *MoonsongWolf
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Submitted on
January 2, 2013
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