5 things you might not know about gibbons

  • Animals
  • Wednesday, 22 Nov 2017

White-handed gibbons are one of five species of gibbons found in Malaysia. Photo: Filepic

Gibbons, which are from the Hylobatidae family, are shy and elusive creatures also known as small apes.

There are 12 known species of gibbons, which are endemic to Southern Asia. Gibbons do not have tails and sport cream, black or brown fur coats.

In the wild, they are known to live up to 25 years, foraging mainly for fruits – their favourite being fig – as well as leaves, flowers and insects.

Here are five gibbon traits:

1 They are monogamous, something which only happens in 3% of mammals, and is very rare among primates.

2 They are arboreal, meaning they spend most of their time up in the tree topss and rarely come down to the ground.

3 Gibbons move about by way of “brachiation”, or swinging among the trees using their long arms – they, in fact, have the longest arms among all the primates.

4 Among all the apes, gibbons are the ones that walk the most upright and are often studied for bipedal evolution in humans.

5 Gibbons produce the most elaborate and complex songs among all land mammals. They sing in the mornings, with each session lasting between 10 and 30 minutes.

Click here to find out how the illegal pet trade is threatening the survival of gibbons .


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