Monthly Archives: June 2011

White-handed gibbon

Gibbons are apes, not monkeys. Also called the lesser apes, gibbons differ from great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans) in being smaller and in not making nests. Gibbons are masters of their primary mode of locomotion, brachiation, swinging from branch to branch for distances of up to 50 ft, at speeds as high as 35 mph. They can also make leaps of up to 26 ft, and walk bipedally with their arms raised for balance. They are the fastest and most agile of all tree-dwelling, non-flying mammals. Depending on species and gender, gibbons’ fur coloration varies from dark to light brown shades, and anywhere in between black and white. It is rare to see a completely white gibbon.