gibbon facts

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"The fastest moving arboreal mammal"

Gibbons are arboreal apes that live in Asia and Indonesia. Unlike great apes, gibbons, also known as lesser apes, are nimble and nimble, zipping through treetops at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour). There are 18 different species of this arboreal, or tree-dwelling, mammal, including the white-handed gibbon, gibbon, and gibbon. Most gibbon species are endangered, some critically endangered.

Unbelievable Gibbon Facts!

  • Depending on sex and species, gibbons weigh 6-9 kg.
  • they live to 25
  • Gibbons have extra-long arms and powerful legs for swinging and jumping from tree to tree
  • Gibbons are better at walking on two legs than any other ape or monkey

Scientific name of gibbon

The scientific name of the gibbon is Gibbonidae. The family Hylobatidae includes the genera Hylobates, Hoolock, Nomascus and Symphalangus.

The scientific name of the pygmy gibbon is Hylobates, including Hylobates lar, Bornean white-bearded, Agile, Mueller's, Silvery, Pleated, Kloss's gibbon.

Siberian cranes include the Western Siberian Crane, Eastern Siberian Crane and Skywalker Siberian Crane gibbon species.

The species of crested gibbon, scientific name Nomascus, includes northern yellow-cheeked gibbon, black-crested gibbon, eastern black-crested gibbon, Hainan black-crested gibbon, northern white-cheeked gibbon, southern white-cheeked gibbon and yellow-cheeked gibbon.

The genus Symphalangus contains one species, the siamang gibbon.

gibbon appearance

These are light and agile apes. They vary in height from 15 to 36 inches (40 to 90 cm), depending on their species. The largest gibbon, siamang, is about half the height of its human counterparts. All species have small heads and smooth ape-like faces covered with fur. Like apes, but unlike monkeys, they don't have tails.

One of their most distinctive features is their unusually long arms, which they use to weave through the tree canopies that serve as roosts. When these apes walked upright, they raised their arms above their heads for balance.

These animals have specialized wrist joints that allow their hands to move side to side, as well as back and forth. This facilitates fast, efficient progression from one branch to another.

These smaller apes had elongated hands and feet. Each hand has a deep slit that helps them hold on to branches. The largest of these great apes, the Siamese gibbon has two permanently fused toes on each foot.

Their fur can be any color from brown to black, sometimes mixed with white. Their faces, feet and hands often have contrasting markings, such as the white-bearded or yellow-cheeked species of Borneo.

gibbon behavior

These smaller great apes spend most of their lives in the rainforest canopy. Their long arms and powerful legs make them some of the greatest upper arms in the world. They can move quickly, covering distances of 50 feet in a single jump. Occasionally, they miss a branch or misjudge the distance between trees, which often results in a broken bone

They only occasionally venture to the forest floor. Maybe they need to find food or escape another animal in the treetops. When they are on the ground, these smaller apes typically walk on two feet, raising their arms above their heads to keep them upright.

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All gibbon species are vocal. Their voices are melodious and can travel great distances. They use sound to locate other gibbons, warn intruders and attract their mates. Courtship songs, often duets with intended mates, are known as great callings.

Siamese gibbons and other species have uniquely developed throat pouches. When the animal inhales, the throat pouch fills with air, which amplifies its call in tropical forests, helping to locate other great apes, marking territorial boundaries or joining mating duets. The voice of the largest species, the siamang, can be heard up to two miles away.

Generally, these primates mate for life. They live in small nuclear families consisting of a couple and a minor offspring. Although they sleep in trees, these animals don't build nests like other great apes. Once the cub reaches maturity, it ventures out to form its own family group.

gibbon habitat

These animals inhabit Southeast Asian rainforests in these countries:

  • Bangladesh
  • borneo
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • java
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Sumatra
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

These arboreal animals require a dense canopy for food, shelter and transportation. Different species live in different areas, such as mountains or valleys, but they all prefer treetop habitats.

gibbon diet

These animals mainly eat fruit and plants in the rainforest canopy. However, they are omnivorous, so they will occasionally eat meat, such as insects, bird eggs, and small animals.

Gibbons Predators and Threats

Big cats native to Southeast Asia, such as clouded leopards and tigers, prey on these smaller apes. Serpents and eagles also pose a threat to these arboreal apes. When a predator is nearby, white-bearded gibbons send out warning signals to alert their own species, as well as other animals such as monkeys, a chance to seek safety, according to a major study of Bornean brown langur monkeys.

Humans hunt these animals in the wild and sell them to zoos. In some cultures, people buy animal body parts for healing or consumption.

By far the greatest threat, however, is human encroachment on the tropical rainforests they call home. As civilization demands more and more forests, there is less and less food for these animals and the habitat shrinks rapidly, which is the main reason why many species are endangered.

Gibbon reproduction, babies and lifespan

Females give birth one offspring at a time. During breeding, they may have as many as six children. Females in the wild reach sexual maturity at around 8 years of age, while males a little later, around 10 years of age. These arboreal mammals have only one mate at a time, but may switch partners once their offspring grow up.

A female's pregnancy lasts six and a half months. Once she gives birth, both parents will take care of the child until she is old enough to leave the house.

On average, these animals live about 30-35 years in their natural habitat. Those in captivity tend to live longer, up to 50 years. The longest-lived human on record was a Mueller gibbon named Nippy at New Zealand's Wellington Zoo at the age of 60.

gibbon population

All gibbon species are in decline. Most of these 18 species are at risk of extinction. In fact, there are fewer than 25 of the Hainan crested gibbon in the genus Mustang, making the species the most endangered primate on Earth. Other critically endangered types also belong to the Nomascus genus, including:

  • black crown-
  • Northern white cheeks—
  • gibbon
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The endangered species are:

• Western Idiot • Agility • Bornean Whitebeard • Clos's • Lahr • Silver • Muller's Borneo • Pleated • Abbott Gray • Northern Gray • Yellow Cheek • Southern White Cheek • Siamese

The eastern hoomo gibbon is vulnerable, but not yet endangered. The skywalker crane and the northern yellow-cheeked gibbon require further research to determine their status.

Gibbons in the zoo

Many zoos in major U.S. cities exhibit these animals. Some of the species you can see in these zoos include the lar, siamang and white-cheeked gibbon. Other types of these arboreal animals in the zoo are Javan gibbons, eastern cranes, and gibbons.

In Canada, the Toronto Zoo has white-handed gibbons. A gray female gibbon at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Zoo has lived to be 50 years old. Today, the zoo is home to a family of white-handed gibbons. Many other zoos across Canada also have gibbons.

In fact, zoos around the world have different gibbon species. The most common ones in captivity are Siamese cats, white-cheeked cats and big-mouthed cats.

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Gibbons 1

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Gibbon FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is a Gibbon?

Gibbons are small apes that live in Southeast Asia. It spends its life in the rainforest canopy, swinging from tree to tree. Its extra-long arms and powerful legs make it the fastest arboreal mammal.

What are the smallest and largest gibbon species?

The smallest species is the lark gibbon. It is one of seven dwarf species, with adults standing about eight inches tall and weighing 12-13 pounds. The largest gibbon is the Siamese gibbon, which can grow up to three feet tall and weigh up to 26 pounds.

Are gibbons monkeys?

Gibbons are not monkeys. They don't have tails like monkeys. Gibbons are more closely related to great apes in Africa and Asia, but they are called lesser apes.

Are gibbons dangerous?

Gibbons generally do not pose a threat to humans. However, like any animal in the wild, they can become aggressive when they think their family or territory is in danger. They warn intruders with loud voices.

Where do gibbons live?

Gibbons live throughout Southeast Asian countries. Their natural habitat is the tropical rainforest. They also live in zoos around the world.

Why do gibbons have long arms?

Gibbon arms are again half as long as legs, and gibbons are designed to be wrist-extended, which means swinging in the treetops. They have special wrist joints that swivel so they can twist and turn easily.

How many gibbons are left on earth?

Although the researchers haven't yet counted all the species of gibbons on Earth, they have come up with approximate numbers for the most endangered species:

• Hainan Fengtou, 25
• Cao-Vit Crested Head, 100
• Black cockatoos, less than 2,000 • Silver, less than 4,500
• Kloss's, less than 25,000
• Folds, less than 47,000
• Western whites, less than 110,000
• Eastern white, less than 370,000

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Have they discovered any new species?

The Skywalker gibbon is a recent discovery. The new gibbon was officially announced for the first time in 2017 in the American Journal of Primatology. The name Skywalker comes from Star Wars lore, but it also applies to the animal that spends most of its time in the treetops.

Why do gibbons live longer in zoos than in the wild?

In the wild, gibbons must compete for food and mates. They are threatened by predators. If they fall from a tree, they may injure themselves and must recover without medical assistance. It's different at the zoo. Regular feeding and a balanced diet promote good health. They usually have a mate who provides them, and they are not threatened by any predators. Despite living in captivity, they tend to be healthier and live longer.

What happens to gibbons when the rainforest disappears?

The life of a gibbon is inextricably linked to a healthy rainforest. Due to human activities, forests are shrinking, and the number of gibbons is also decreasing. However, the extinction of this unique and irreplaceable animal was not inevitable. Conservation groups such as the Gibbon Conservation Center and the Gibbon Conservation Alliance are working to save gibbon habitat and provide safe homes for gibbons in captivity.

Are gibbons herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

Gibbons are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and other animals.

To which kingdom do gibbons belong?

Gibbons belong to the animal kingdom.

What phylum do gibbons belong to?

Gibbons belong to the phylum Chordate.

Which category do gibbons belong to?

Gibbons belong to the class Mammalia.

What family do gibbons belong to?

Gibbons belong to the family Gibbonidae.

What order do gibbons belong to?

Gibbons belong to the order Primates.

What genus do gibbons belong to?

Gibbons belong to the genus Gibbons.

What type of mulch do gibbons have?

Gibbons are covered with hair.

What is the main prey of gibbons?

Gibbons eat fruit, eggs and insects.

What are the natural enemies of gibbons?

Predators of gibbons include leopards, snakes and birds of prey.

How many children does a gibbon have?

The average number of babies in a gibbon is 1.

What are some interesting facts about gibbons?

Gibbons live in dense jungles and tropical forests!

What is the scientific name of the gibbon?

The scientific name of the gibbon is Gibbonidae.

What is the lifespan of a gibbon?

Gibbons can live 25 to 40 years.

How fast are gibbons?

Gibbons can travel as fast as 35 miles per hour.

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  2. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) Encyclopedia of World Animals
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  14. Gibbons SSP, available here:
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