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Gibbon Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
50-90cm (19.6-35in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
6-9kg (13.2-19.8lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
56km/h (35mph)
How long the animal lives for
25-40 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Black, Brown, White, Grey, Yellow
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Dense forest and jungle
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Fruit, Eggs, Insects
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Leopards, Snakes, Birds Of Prey
Special Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Very long arms and lightweight body

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Gibbon Location

Map of Gibbon Locations
Map of Asia


The gibbon is a small sized ape, found inhabiting the dense jungles and tropical rainforests across south-east Asia. Gibbons belong to the lesser ape family which are closely related to the great apes (chimpanzees, orang-utans, bonobos, gorillas and humans).

Gibbons are small and lightweight monkeys that grow to around 90cm tall and weigh just 7kg. The lightweight body of the gibbons means that the gibbon is able to move around in and leap between the trees.

Gibbons are arboreal animals which means that they spend the majority of their lives in the trees. Living in the trees has it's advantages for the gibbon as the gibbon has plenty of food and is also a safe distance above ground from predators.

There are more than 10 different species of gibbon living in the trees from northern India and the islands of Indonesia. All the gibbon species are fairly similar in shape and size, but the different species of gibbon differ most in their colours which range from grey, to brown, to black. Some species of gibbon are identified by the white markings on their faces.

Gibbons have very long arms which are often longer than the gibbon's legs. Gibbons use their arms to help them to move around in the trees and to balance whilst they are walking along branches. Gibbons are known to be the fastest, non-flying tree dwelling mammals in the world as they can move at speeds of up to 35mph and are able to swing themselves 15 meters from tree to tree. Gibbons are also incredible at leaping and can leap long distances of up to 8 meters. Like all other species of ape, gibbons do not have a tail.

Gibbons are omnivorous animals meaning that they eat a mixture of both plant and animal matter. The main food of the gibbon is ripe fruit which grow around them in the trees, and makes up around three quarters of the gibbon's diet. Gibbons also prey on insects, eggs, spiders and small birds and reptiles.

Due to their tree-dwelling nature, gibbons have few natural predators in their environment apart from those that can also get up the tall trees. Leopards, large snakes and birds of prey are the main predators of the gibbon.

Gibbons live in groups, known as troops which consists of the alpha male and female, and their offspring. Gibbons mates usually stay together for life and the female gibbon gives birth to a single baby gibbon after a gestation period of around 7 months. The male gibbon and the female gibbon look after the baby gibbon until it is about a year old, but the baby gibbon usually stays close to its mother until it is older (between 6 and 7) and is able to start a family of its own.
Nearly all of the different species of gibbon are today considered to be either threatened or extinction mainly due to deforestation and habitat loss.

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First Published: 5th October 2009, Last Updated: 8th November 2019

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2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 05 Oct 2009]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 05 Oct 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 05 Oct 2009]