Hylobatidae – Gibbons
Swinging on branches for distances up to 15m (50 ft) in the forests of Southeast Asia
Also called the lesser apes, in contrast with the great apes, gibbons are smaller in size but are more acrobatic and agile. Nevertheless, gibbons have more in common with the great apes than with monkeys.
They’re tail-less and use their long supple hands to swiftly swing from one branch to the other. Sometimes, even fracturing one bone or the other in the process; but the show must go on! Like all primates, they’re highly social, but unlike most primates, they form lifelong mating pairs, notwithstanding occasional cases of ‘divorce’ (we hope their graph doesn’t go as high up as ours in the future).
And finally, the dreadfully common reality of an existential threat (because of habitat loss) also stares them in the face.
Genera in this family
Used to be Gibbons only genus, but still is the most widespread and biggest genus in the family
Native to Bangladesh, NE India, Myanmar, and SW China
All members are either Endangered or Critically endangered, including the world’s rarest ape
The largest gibbon