The Gibbon Monkey

Monkeys are fine animals that are known to swing from tree to tree. But what species do we really think of when we think about monkeys? The great acrobat of the rainforest, the gibbon monkey of course! The gibbon monkey’s appearance, habitat, prey, and friends and enemies are all very unique.

Appearance

The gibbon’s appearance is very strange. They have long and powerful arms that are longer than their legs. Both their hands and feet are curved. As a result, they must sweep to grab items. They also whoop. It is smaller than its relatives by having a length of 16-36 inches and a weight of 9-29 pounds. Their body can be white, grey, black, or brown and their face is usually blackish-brownish with a white outline.
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Habitat

The Southeastern Asian Rainforest is the home of this animal along with other dense forests of Asia. This species is home to Northeast India, Indonesia, and Southern China. Gibbons prefer to live in the canopy layer since it would be exposed to its predators in the other layers. The climate in this creature’s environment is always hot and humid. They enjoy swinging in the trees rather than just sitting. This creature has a strange form of locomotion called brachiation. Brachiation allows gibbons to move through the rainforest at speeds up to 35 mph! They can also bridge gaps up to 50 feet!
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Feeding Habits and Prey

Most of the feeding habits and prey of this lesser ape aren’t what someone would expect. Their diet is a mixture of protein, vegetation, and insects, which makes them omnivores and insectivores. This animal finds fruit at ends of branches and uses its long arms to grab them. They also follow a pattern to find food in their range. This species is fond of fruits called figs, which they find easily, but they also find many twigs, leaves, insects, and flowers. Sometimes it finds birds’ eggs and young birds in trees and will eat them. Something about the great acrobat of the rainforest that may seem odd is that it can be found feeding most of the day. It would make sense that this ape can be found near fruit trees. Only animals such as squirrels and birds are competition for their food.
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Friends and Enemies

The gibbon’s friends and enemies are alike and different in many ways. This primate is in the group known as apes, so it is closely related to the orangutan, gorilla, and chimpanzee. It is often called the lesser ape. Gibbons mature at seven to eight years of age, and their families have a male, a female, and two to four offspring. There are four to fifteen species of gibbons that aren’t extinct, along with three that are extinct. The rest are endangered and threatened. Three of the many species are the siamang gibbon, the long-armed gibbon, and the white-handed gibbon. They also live in groups called troops, which consist of an alpha male, an alpha female, their offspring, and the rest of the gibbons. This ape has few predators. Some are leopards, large snakes, and birds of prey.
The gibbon monkey may be endangered, but people can still help them. Their appearance, habitat, prey, and friends and enemies are different from other animals, making the great acrobat of the rainforest a very unique animal.
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Bibliography

"Gibbon." Animal Facts and Information. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.

"Gibbons, Gibbon Pictures, Gibbon Facts -- National Geographic." National Geographic. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

"Information on Rainforests in Southeast Asia." Travel Tips. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

Levinson, Nancy Smiler., and Diane Dawson Hearn. Rain Forests. New York: Holiday House, 2008. Print.

National Geographic Book of Mammals. Washington, D.C.: Society, 1998. Print.

"Southeast Asian Rainforest." Southeast Asian Rainforest. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

Gibbon. Wildlife and Plants of the World. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1999. Print.