White-cheeked gibbon in exhibit

White-cheeked Gibbon

Scientific Name
Nomascus leucogenys
Laos, Vietnam, Hainan, southeastern China, and eastern Cambodia
Rainforests and mountain forests
Estimated Wild Population
White-cheeked gibbon in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Critically Endangered Endangered Status Graph - Critically Endangered

More Information

White-cheeked gibbons were named after the white patch of fur surrounding their mouth and chin. Like other gibbons, they are known as small apes due to their relatively diminuitive body size compared to great apes, such as western lowland gorillas or even humans. They can reach up to 25 inches in height and weigh approximately 12 pounds. They have extremely long arms and legs that are adapted to moving through trees but, like all apes, white-cheeked gibbons do not have tails.

Did You Know?

These tree-dwellers use a highly specialized mode of locomotion called brachiation—instead of grasping at branches with their fingers, their hands form a loose hook around branches, enabling them to swing through the trees using a hand-over-hand motion.

At dawn, pairs defend their territory with loud ritualized duets that last around 10 minutes.

All white-cheeked gibbons are born with blonde fur that starts to turn black within the first year of life. When they reach adulthood, however, males remain black while females change back to blonde.

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