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Saddleback Tamarin Monkey

The Beatles said it first, "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."

The main focus of the day was to find the Hoatzin, a weird dinosaur-looking prehistoric bird, but on the the way to find one in a small boat, poled along a tributary of the Amazon River, a little Saddleback Tamarin monkey peered out of the forest curious about who might be floating by, invading its space. On first glance, It's cuteness factor was definitely topping the scale, but all of a sudden it felt that looking at it was like looking in a mirror. The intensity and brightness in its little face and eyes was both charming and unnerving.

The Saddleback tamarin is classified as "least concern" on the Threatened Species List by Conservation Biologists which sounds like it is safe, but it isn't. Ever encroaching use of the forests decrease their numbers because they depend on eating the fruit, flowers, insects, frogs, spiders, lizards and nectar found there.

The encounter brought to mind another famous lyric, "You can't always get what you want", but you might find SOMETHING. Maybe even a tiny monkey.


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Susan Rouillier
Bird Photographer and Painter

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