emperor tamarin

An emperor tamarin with his tongue against the glass. Image taken at the San Francisco Zoo.

So one day last summer, I was cruising around zoo grounds at the San Francisco Zoo and of course I stopped to check on the emperor tamarins. These small primates always have twin babies this time of year and I enjoy watching them slowly growing up, from clinging to their parents’ backs to learning how to climb and jump across their exhibit. Most of the time they ride on their father, who is pretty possessive and only gives them up to their mother for nursing. At any rate, while I was watching the tamarin exhibit, I noticed some odd behavior from two of the monkeys. They were competing for the position on top of this stick and when they were there, they were doing things like in the picture above. Here’s a couple more pictures of what was happening:

 

Emperor tamarin

An emperor tamarin. Image taken at the San Francisco Zoo.

emperor tamarin

An emperor tamarin. Image taken at the San Francisco Zoo.

What were these silly monkeys up to? I discovered the answer. Take a look at the next pictures and see if you notice it too.

emperor tamarin

An emperor tamarin. Image taken at the San Francisco Zoo.

emperor tamarin

An emperor tamarin. Image taken at the San Francisco Zoo.

emperor tamarin

An emperor tamarin. Image taken at the San Francisco Zoo.

emperor tamarin

An emperor tamarin. Image taken at the San Francisco Zoo.

emperor tamarin

An emperor tamarin. Image taken at the San Francisco Zoo.

emperor tamarin

An emperor tamarin. Image taken at the San Francisco Zoo.

Clearly, these two tamarins were pining over that huge, yummy crane fly on the wall just outside of their exhibit. Perhaps trying to will it closer with the power of their minds. Or maybe…”if I just look at it this way, I’ll see the way to get it.”

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