Today’s animal is a gibbon. The term gibbon is often used interchangeably with the word ape. However, gibbons are more closely related to humans than they are to other apes.
- Gibbons are slender, long-limbed apes that live in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia.
- They have long, strong arms and even stronger leg muscles, which allow them to swing from tree to tree with ease.
- They have a few anatomical similarities with chimpanzees and gorillas, such as forward-facing eyes that provide binocular vision, but these features evolved independently in each group of ape species.
- Gibbon arms and legs can rotate all the way around, so their palms face outwards when they are hanging upside down. This allows them to grip branches in a “hand over hand” fashion with ease.
- They are one of the few primates that do not have any form of sexual dimorphism – meaning there is no distinct difference in size or appearance between male and female gibbons!
- Gibbons are known for their vocalizations as they call out warnings to other group members.
- They also make a wide variety of sounds – from deep hoots and whoops to higher-pitched chirps and chatters – for different purposes such as warning predators away or attracting mates with songs full of melodic phrases that can last up to 20 minutes.
- Gibbons are intelligent animals and can learn to use tools, such as sticks to pry insects out of crevices or leaves to make cups in which they can soak up water.
- Their diet consists of fruits, leaves, flowers, and sometimes even small vertebrates like lizards.
- There are currently 19 species of gibbons, including the white-cheeked gibbon, black-crested gibbon, and siamang.
- Gibbons are considered endangered due to habitat loss and hunting.