The golden lion tamarin's diet consists of fruit, insects and mice, as well as sometimes birds, snakes, lizards and bird eggs. This diet differs when the animal is in a zoo, generally consisting of mealworms, insects, canned marmoset diet and fruit.
Golden lion tamarins are omnivorous animals, found in forested areas near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. These monkeys are able to extract insects and other small prey from tree bark using their long fingers, and are generally found in areas filled with vines, which enables them to easily access other prey like birds, snakes and small lizards, as well as fruit. The golden lion tamarin requires high levels of protein in its diet, as well as ample sunlight to obtain vitamin D, in order to maintain its health.