Siamang Gibbon

Scientific Name: Hylobates syndactylus / Symphalangus syndactylus
IUCN Status: Endangered

The Siamang gibbon is a primate and the largest of the gibbon species. They are black-furred apes with very long arms, much longer than their legs. They can weigh between 10 – 12 kg and have large throat pouches which allow them to vocalise and sing.

Siamang Gibbon

The Siamang gibbon is a primate and the largest of the gibbon species. They are black-furred apes with very long arms, much longer than their legs. They can weigh between 10 – 12 kg and have large throat pouches which allow them to vocalise and sing.

General Information

Where do they live? (Natural habitat)

They live in the canopy of semi-decidiuos/evergreen forests ranging from the lowlands to 1,500 m. Siamangs are found in the Barisan Mountains of west-central Sumatra, the mountains of the Malay Peninsula, Malaysia and in a small area of southern peninsular of Thailand.

How long do they live?

Siamang gibbons can live up to 44 years in zoo's but their lifespan is not as long in the wild.

What do they eat?

The majority of their diet consists of leaves. The rest is made up of fruit, which varies seasonally.

Group name

Family

Zoo location

Orangutan rainforest

Closest related species / sister species

The nomascus gibbons are their closest relatives, including the black crested gibbon.

Animal class

Mammalia

Animal order

Primates

Fun facts

Standing tall

Gibbons walk the most upright of any ape species.

Sing song

Gibbons sing loud, complex sounds to strengthen family bond, locate other individuals and hold teritorries. Singing can be heard from 10-11 am in Dublin Zoo.

All thumbs

Siamangs are the only gibbons with both opposable thumbs and toes.

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Family Life

Gibbons are generally monogamous, and usually live in a family group of two dominant adults and their offspring. Young tend to move away from the parent location.

Baby name

Infant

Gestation (pregnancy) period

7-7.5 months

Number of young at birth

Usually 1, occasionally twin births do occur.

Weight at birth

500 grams

Age at maturity

6 to 7 years

Adult male name

Male

Adult female name

Female

Size male adult

74-89 cm tall and around 10kgs

Size female adult

74-89 cm tall and around 10kgs

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Conservation

IUCN status

The Siamang gibbon is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation in Nature

Current population estimate

An estimated 22,390 individuals

Threats

Agriculture, aquaculture leading to habitat loss and poaching.

What is Dublin Zoo doing?

Dublin Zoo participates in the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP) for siamang gibbons.

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Siamang Gibbon Conservation

See what Dublin Zoo is doing to help Siamang gibbons in the wild
Find out more

Most asked questions

  • Why are the siamang considered an intelligent species?

    Siamang gibbons can recognize themselves in mirrors which is assumed to represent an important step towards a higher level of animal intelligence.

  • How do siamangs make their call so loud?

    Siamangs have a special throat sac that allows their call to be heard over 3 kilometres away.

  • What do siamangs eat?

    The majority of their diet consists of leaves, the rest is made up of fruit, which varies seasonally.

  • What does siamang use its long arms for?

    Siamangs use their long arms for swinging through the trees (brachiating) and for balance when walking on two legs.

  • What is the main mode of movement for a siamang?

    Siamangs can generally be found swinging through the trees but can walk when on the ground.

  • Where do siamangs live?

    Siamangs are found in the Barisan Mountains of west-central Sumatra, the mountains of the Malay Peninsula, Malaysia and in a small area of southern peninsular of Thailand, mainly in forested areas

  • What do gibbons eat?

    The majority of their diet consists of leaves, the rest is made up of fruit, which varies seasonally.

  • Are gibbons monkeys?

    No, gibbons are lesser apes.

  • What is a group of gibbons called?

    A group of gibbons is called a family.

  • Why do gibbons howl?

    Gibbons call and sing to reinforce family bonds and territories.

  • Are gibbons endangered?

    Siamang gibbons are endangered, some other species of gibbons are also endangered and critically endangered.

  • Do gibbons have tails?

    No, gibbons are lesser apes which mean they have no tails. Monkeys have tails.

  • How many species of gibbons are there?

    There are 19 species of gibbon in 4 genus.

  • What are baby gibbons called?

    Baby gibbons are call infants.

  • How long do gibbons live?

    The siamang gibbon can live up to 44 years in zoo’s.

  • Where do gibbons come from?

    The siamang gibbon can be found in West-central Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, Malaysia and in a small area of southern peninsular of Thailand.

  • Where do gibbons live in the wild?

    There are over a dozen gibbon species described, ranging from northeast India to southern China to Borneo.

  • Why are gibbons endangered?

    Gibbons are threatened by habitat loss for housing, agriculture, aquaculture and poaching for the illegal pet trade.

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