Monday, February 7, 2011

Lar Gibbon

The lar gibbon (Hylobates lar) is a species of gibbon found only in Asia.  It is a more well known gibbon and can be found in many zoos or national parks.  It is endangered mainly due to habitat loss.

Physical Features
The lar gibbon is a smaller compared to the other great apes.  Their fur color varies from back or dark brown color to sandy or light brown color.  Males and females can some times vary in color.  Their hands and their feet are white in color.  Lar gibbons have arms that are longer than here feet.  They are considered as one of the best brachiators.  A circle of white surrounds their face.  Males are slightly larger than females.  The lar gibbon has relatively short legs, curved fingers and extremely long arms.  Like all apes, the number of caudal vertebrae of the lar gibbon has greatly reduced as the do not use their tail much.

Distribution and Habitat
The lar gibbon used to range from southwest Chine till Thailand and Burma to the whole of the Malay Peninsula including the island of Sumatra.  Now, it is fragmented across this range and is believed to be extinct in China.  Since they are arboreal, they live in primary and secondary forests.

The lar gibbon is considered to be an omnivore.  Some people believe it should classified as a frugivorous as 50% of its diet is fruit.  Its diet consists of 29% of leaves, 13% of insects and 9% of other items like seeds.

The lar gibbon is an arboreal animal.  Hardly come down on land except when in search of food. They live in groups and give warning calls when a predator is approaching their group.  Sometimes they make loud calls to scare away other animals from their territory.

Conservation Status                                                           Gibbon in Jersey zoo                                                                                       

Lar gibbons have greatly reduced in numbers in the past decade.  This is mainly because of habitat loss.  Most of the primary forests are getting cleared for agriculture.  They are rarely hunted for food as hunting lar gibbons for food is banned in most of the Asian countries.

Source of picture 1Source of picture 2

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