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White Handed Gibbon

(Hylobates lar)


White-handed gibbons can be found in tropical rainforests of southern Asia, including Malaysia, China, Sumatra, and Thailand. The white-handed gibbon lives in the rain forests of Asia. While the local inhabitants respect them, due to their likeness to humans, outsiders coming in are starting to threaten this species. It is listed as near threatened due to the slash and burn clear cutting of their native forests. The burning depletes the nutrients in the land, making it uninhabitable. Also, with humans moving in on them, building houses and roads, the gibbons have fewer and fewer places to live.


Their diet consists of fruit, leaves, buds and blossoms, insects, snails, and small birds. The white-handed gibbon is a monogamous species that live in small groups consisting of a mated pair and their offspring. A pair usually stays together in the same area for their entire life-span and produces more offspring as the others mature and leave the group. Male dominance does not exist within the group.


The loud songs of gibbons are amplified by a throat sac and can be heard up to a half mile away.

Amazing Facts:

This species believed to be the fastest of all the primates and the most agile tree-dwelling animal. White-handed gibbons are able to catch birds out of the air and eat them after landing.

General Description:

The White-handed gibbon has a black to pale brown or yellowish-gray fur body, with white hair framing a black naked face. Like all other apes, they have no tail, but they do have long arms and legs that help them swing hand over hand through the trees. They are actually the only primates that travel this way.

Order: Primates
Family: Hylobatidae
Genus: Hylobates
Species: lar

Gestation: 7-8 months
Range: Southeast China and eastern Myanmar to Thailand
Longevity: About 35 years
Weight: 20-25 pounds