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The White Handed Gibbon Essay

1214 words - 5 pages

The white handed gibbon is the smallest and most arboreal ape in the family Hylobatidae or "dwellers of the trees". Adult gibbons are only about 3 feet tall standing upright and 13 pounds in weight. They are nearly twice as heavy, have longer arms, and are very slender. The Long bushy hair on their bodies makes them look stockier than they actually are. Unlike all of the other ape species, gibbons have little sexual dimorphism in body size.The long arms, permanently curved fingers, and light bodies of gibbons and make them excellent brachiators. That is, they move around in trees by swinging under branches with a hand over hand motion. At times, they also walk bipedally, or two footed, on ...view middle of the document...

Gibbons are one of the few apes where the adult female is the dominant animal in the group. The hierarchy places her female offspring next followed by the male offspring and finally by the adult male. Gibbons are physically independent at about three, mature at about six, and usually leave the family group at about eight, though they may spend up to ten years in their family group.To discover related mannerisms between human behavior and gibbon behavior, I went to Golden Spoon located in the Aliso Viejo town center. I sat on a bench for approximately thirty minutes and documented the human conduct surrounding me. It was about half past twelve on clear warm day. Many people were out on a lunch break. I noticed children and their mother's going for ice cream since it has been a nice day for some frozen yogurt. I could hear some of the mother's telling their children to stay close to them, and that they did. This signified that mother's were of higher authority and were protecting their young ones, likewise to that of the gibbon infants. Some of the mother's were also feeding their children which showed that they were nurturing them and keeping them healthy. Another important thing I observed was a majority of the people around me had just got out of work and were on a lunch break. This symbolized a need for energy so that when they had to go back to work, they could work just as hard. This is relevant because gibbons eat a lot to maintain the energy it requires to move from tree to tree.Before I went to the zoo, I thought it was going to be a complete waste of time and that I wasn't going to learn anything. However, watching the white handed gibbon was quite interesting to see. They reacted very calmly to my presence. Unlike any other primate groups, there was hardly any aggression among the gibbon towards me or the people I was around. They are remarkably gentle with one another. Competition seemed quite unnecessary.One thing that I discovered about the gibbon that seemed very similar to humans was their natural instinct of resting. I noticed that after a certain amount of activity, they would rest for a minute, eat a fig, and go right back to swinging from tree to tree. This is relative to humans because...

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