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small apeape,
any primate of the superfamily Hominoidea, which includes humans; this article, however, focuses on the nonhuman apes. The small apes, the gibbons and the siamang, and the orangutans, which belong to the great apes, are found in SE Asia.
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, family Hylobatidae, found in the forests of SE Asia. The gibbons are known as the small, or lesser, apes; they are the most highly adapted of the apes to arboreal life. They are highly endangered because of habitat destruction.

Most gibbons are about 3 ft (90 cm) tall and weigh about 15 lb (6.4 kg). Their arms are extremely long in proportion to their body length, and they swing through the trees with great speed and agility, clearing gaps up to 20 ft (6 m) wide. On the ground they walk on two feet, holding their arms up awkwardly; they can also run on all fours.

Members of most gibbon species have black faces surrounded by a white ruff; their fur ranges in color from black to buff. Some species, e.g., the lar, or white-handed, gibbon, have sexual dimorphism in coloration. Like Old World monkeys and unlike other apes, gibbons have callosities on their buttocks.

Gibbons live in permanent families consisting of a male, a female, and their young; families occupy definite territories. They feed on fruits and other plant matter as well as insects and other small animals. Gibbons have powerful voices and at times engage in loud howling, which is answered by other gibbons in the vicinity.

The largest gibbon is the siamang, Symphalangus syndactylus. Deep black, with a reddish brown face, the siamang may weigh up to 25 lb (11.3 kg). Siamangs are further distinguished by the presence in both sexes of a large vocal sac on the throat; this sac is inflated before the animal howls and probably functions to magnify the sound. Such a sac is also found in the male black crested gibbon (Nomascus concolor). Siamangs are found in the high mountain forests of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula.

Gibbons are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Primates, family Hylobatidae.

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(vertebrate zoology)
The common name for seven species of large, tailless primates belonging to the genus Hylobates ; the face and ears are hairless, and the arms are longer than the legs.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


any small agile arboreal anthropoid ape of the genus Hylobates, inhabiting forests in S Asia


1. Edward. 1737--94, English historian; author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776--88), controversial in its historical criticism of Christianity
2. Lewis Grassic , real name James Leslie Mitchell. 1901--35, Scottish writer: best known for his trilogy of novels Scots Quair (1932--34)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Footage, which has gone viral online, shows the visitor standing next to the glass front of the gibbon's enclosure, after a zookeeper warned him that his height might make the animal aggressive.
"I have to deal with some horrible people but no one has ever done this," said Mr Gibbon, who has been running pubs and clubs in the North East for 50 years.
He wrote a musical monograph entitled Records of Old and New Music (Gujin yulu) in which he mentions the folk song "Daughters" ("Nu'er zi") that describes the gibbon's sad call for the first time.
A gibbon's song is acoustically unique among primates, with a loud melody which can be heard over two miles away.
In one public service announcement played between pop tunes, sounds of gunfire are punctuated by gibbon cries and a voice that warns darkly: "For one baby, five gibbons are killed." Another message talks of how "God did not create wild animals to serve as garden decorations."
Twycross has three different types of gibbon - all of them are endangered.
That, coupled with deforestation, has caused grave concerns among conservationists who fear the extinction of the endangered yellow-cheeked crested gibbons.
Analysis of the gibbon bones shows that the found remains are very unique to contemporary gibbons, suggesting a new genus and species.
Even as her family is trying to cope with the loss of their daughter, Gibbons' mother has spoken out for the first time.
Holroyd, 24, of Briarlyn Road, Birchencliffe, and Gibbon, 25, of Quarmby Road, Quarmby, each deny causing Mr Fletcher grievous bodily harm with intent and arson at the salon, being reckless whether life was endangered.
"Gibbon Forest is an exciting development because in this new environment, the primates will be living and behaving as they would in the forests of south-east Asia," says Dr Charlotte Macdonald, director of life sciences at Twycross.
Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street, created by first-time writer David Anaxagoras and executive produced by Oscar winner Luke Matheny, stars Sloane Morgan Siegel, Ashley Boettcher, Drew Justice and Robyn Lively.