White-Cheeked Gibbon

White-Cheeked Gibbon

Hylobates concolor leucogenys

See them at the Zoo


Quick Facts
Height: 1.5' - 2.0'
Weight: 15-20 lbs
Wild Diet: 80% ripe fruit, 20% leaves, buds and flowers; they occasionally eat eggs, young birds, and insects
Zoo Diet: Monkey chow biscuit, canned science diet, and a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens
Distribution: Historically, Vietnam, Laos, and southern China; currently their distribution is very fragmented in Vietnam and there have been no records from China since 1990.
Habitat: Tropical rainforest, semi-deciduous forest and montane forest; they prefer closed canopy forests

Description

Hylobatids, the lesser or smaller apes, differ from great apes by not building nests, being smaller-bodied, showing no size difference between genders, and consistently exhibiting ischial callosities. Adult white-cheeked gibbons exhibit dichromism (different color for each gender). Both genders are born a buff color. Juveniles turn black with a white cheek pattern between six months and a year. Females return to a buff hair color with a black crown patch when they become sexually mature. Males remain black with white cheek patches. Both sexes have very dense hair coat compared with other gibbon species living closer to the equator. Their face, palms and soles are bare and pigmented. Their elongated posture is a key adaptation for suspensory behavior. Their arms and hands are elongated and there is a deep cleft between the index finger and opposable thumb. This thumb is not used in brachiation (swinging by the arms from branch to branch), but is instead used to climb thick branches, groom, and manipulate food. They have a small throat sac used as a resonating chamber. Like all apes, they are tailless.

Status in the Wild

Their biggest threats are deforestation due to agricultural encroachment and hunting for bushmeat or the wildlife trade.

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