Meet the Teddy Bears That Live in Trees loading...
Meet the Teddy Bears That Live in Trees
Beyond birds and squirrels, there are many unique—and surprising—animals that spend their lives aloft.
This New Species of Primate Is Named After Luke Skywalker loading...
This New Species of Primate Is Named After Luke Skywalker
The Force is strong with the skywalker hoolock gibbon.
About Gibbon

Gibbons are the animals we think of when we picture primates swinging gracefully through the rain forest.

These acrobatic mammals, endemic to the dense forests of southern Asia, are perfectly adapted to life in the trees and rarely descend to the ground. They have strong, hook-shaped hands for grasping branches, comically outsize arms for reaching faraway limbs, and long, powerful legs for propelling and gasping. Their shoulder joints are even specially adapted to allow greater range of motion when swinging.

Their dramatic form of locomotion, called brachiating, can move gibbons through the jungle at up to 35 miles an hour, bridging gaps as wide as 50 feet with a single swinging leap. Brachiating also gives gibbons the unique advantage of being able to swing out and grab fruits growing at the end of branches, which limits competition for their favorite foods.

Fast Facts 

Common Name: Gibbons

Scientific Name: Hylobatidae

Type: Mammals

Diet: Omnivores

Group Name: Family

Average Life Span In The Wild: Up to 25 years

Size: 17 to 25 in

Weight: 9 to 29 lbs

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