Siamang is a white-cheeked gibbon that looks very similar to monkey. However, it is a tailless, black-furred ape with the locomotion in trees. Siamang is different from all living primates - chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutangs and humans - in a way that it has two fingers on each hand that have fused together, hence it is also known as syndactylus. A diurnal animal, it lives in the rain forests and monsoon forests of Malaysia, Indonesia and Sumatra, dwelling on the upper-tree tops and not touching the ground very often. Siamang gibbons mostly delve on plant foods: leaves, shoots, fruits, but can also feed on eggs and bird eggs.Theydo not do very well in captivity, as they are very territorial. In fact, at times, they may own a territory of as much as 50 acres. A decrease in population of this beautiful animal, because of hunting, poaching and habitat loss, is a major concern today. Read on to know some more interesting facts and amazing information on the endangered Siamang Gibbons.
Facts About Siamang Gibbon
Binomial Name: Symphalangus syndactylus
Genus: Symphalangus(formerly hylobates)
Species: S. syndactylus
Height: 74- 100 cm
Weight: 10- 14 kg
Life Span: 35- 40 years
Diet: Predominantly frugivorous and folivorous, also feeds on insects, bird eggs and small vertebrates in small amount.
Range: Malay Peninsula, Indonesia and islands in Sumatra
Habitat: rain forests and monsoon forests at a height of 80- 100 feet above the ground.
Age of Sexual Maturity: 8- 9 years
Gestation Period: 7- 7.5 months
Number of Offspring: One
Interesting & Amazing Information On Siamang Gibbons
- Siamang gibbon is also known as ‘syndactylus’. The name has been derived form the Ancient Greek word ‘sun’ for united and ‘daktulos’ for finger. The animal is so named as it has two fused fingers on each hand.
- Siamang gibbon is further classified in to two species geographically - Sumatran Siamang and Malaysian Siamang.
- It has a shaggy fur, which is black in color and gets lighter around the mouth. It turns red at the eyebrow area.
- Siamang gibbon is the largest and darkest species of gibbon. It has lightweight bones, with a small and round head. In addition, it possesses short and slender body, with arms that are longer than legs.
- The gibbon is different from other gibbons, with the characteristic webbing between the second and third toes making it easier to be identified.
- It lives in a group with an average of four individuals. The home range is around 23 hectares on an average.
- A group of Siamang gibbons usually consists of an adult male, adult female, infants, and offspring. Sometimes, a sub-adult is also a part of the groups, who lives there till it reaches the age of 6-8 years.
- After reaching the age of approximately eight years, the young Siamang gibbons leave the group to find a suitable mate, which can take about 2-3 years. However, once they have found the one, they mate for life.
- The mated pairs of Siamang gibbons are also known to sing for each other, with each pair developing a unique song to communicate.
- The males in the Siamang family offer a major role in paternal care to the young infants, after they are about 8 months old. Before that period, the mother takes care and nurses the child.
- A family of Siamang gibbons can travel up to 1.6 kilometer in a day in search of food. Moreover, they tend to avoid water, since they cannot swim.
- The gibbon is extremely skillful and can carry things with its hands and feet. Since it lives on trees, it is difficult to catch. Human predators usually catch hold of the mother (even kill her) to grab the young or infant Siamang, for pet trade.
- During vocalization, the hairless pouch on the throat of a Siamang gibbon expands. It is responsible to add volumes to its calls, which can be heard over for 4.8 kilometers through the jungle.
- The calling of Siamang gibbons is usually in the morning, to define or defend territories to the neighbor and even a response to disturbances.