Llifespan : 35-40 years
Size: Males are about 3 ft (90 cm) long and weigh about 15 pounds (7 kg).
Group name: Troop or Band
Gibbons are extremely acrobatic and agile. They spend most of their life in the trees. Gibbons are social animals that are active during the day (they are diurnal). They live in small, stable family groups consisting of a mated pair (a male and a female who mate for life) and their immature offspring (juveniles, gibbons less than 7 years old).
What does a Gibbon look like?
The 12 species of gibbons are classified, referring to their size, as lesser apes. They exhibit many of the general characteristics of primates: flat faces, stereoscopic vision, enlarged brain size, grasping hands and feet, and opposable digits; and many specific characteristics of apes: broad chest, full shoulder rotation, no tail, and arms longer than legs. Gibbons are relatively small, slender, and agile. They have fluffy, dense hair. They have very long arms, which they use in a spectacular arm-swinging locomotion called brachiation. Their hands and fingers are also very long. The relatively short thumb is set well down on the palm, and their fingers form a hook, which is used during brachiation.
Where do Gibbons live?
These very acrobatic primates live in southeast Asia. Gibbons are arboreal; they spend most of their lives in trees. Because they are so dextrous while moving in the trees, almost no predators can catch them. There are nine species of gibbons, including the siamang, which is the largest and darkest gibbon. Because of the rapid deforestation of their habitats, gibbons are an endangered species.
The different species of gibbons live in different parts of southeast Asia, from China to the Malay peninsula, Burma, and North Sumatra.
What does a Gibbon eat?
Gibbons are omnivores (eating plants and meat). They forage for food in the forests during the day, eating fruit (which constitutes about 75% of their diet), leaves, flowers, seeds, tree bark, and tender plant shoots. They also eat insects, spiders, bird eggs, and small birds. Gibbons drink water, often by dipping a furry hand into the water or rubbing a hand on wet leaves, and then slurping up the water from their fur. Gibbons sometimes do this while dangling above the water from a thin tree branch.
How do Gibbons communicate?
Gibbons are renowned for their loud, complex vocalizations. These calls are used to announce location, defend territory, and to develop and maintain pair bonds. The adult pair, sometimes joined by practicing juveniles, sing duets. The song is composed of separate male and female elements, including a great call sung by the female. Each pair develops its own variation on a theme so the vocalizations also identify individuals. Singing is typically done at dawn because of its purpose as a locator and spacing mechanism for groups. However, it may also be heard at other times of the day.
Download free Gibbon wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
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Gibbon Coloring pages
Print free Gibbon coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.