|Gibbons are the small apes. They occur in
tropical and subtropical rainforests from northeast India to Indonesia and
north to southern China, including the islands of Sumatra, Borneo and
Java. Also called the lesser apes, gibbons differ from great apes
(chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and humans) in being smaller,
pair-bonded, not making nests, and in certain anatomical details in which
they superficially more closely resemble monkeys than great apes do.
Gibbons are masters of their primary mode of locomotion, brachiation,
swinging from branch to branch distances of up to 50 ft, at speeds as much
as 35 mph. They can also make leaps of up to 27 ft, and walk bipedally
with their arms raised for balance. They are the fastest and most agile of
all tree-dwelling, non-flying mammals.
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