Facts about White Handed Gibbon Apes. "Scientific name for White Handed Gibbon Ape is Hylobates lar". The White Handed Gibbon Ape is also known as a Lars Gibbon. The White Handed Gibbon Ape is a tree dwelling primate found in the tropical rain forests of Southeast Asia, specifically Southern China, Indonesia, Thailand, Burma and Malaysia. Typically, a White Handed Gibbon Ape grows to a height of 18 to 25 inches (45.7 to 63.5 cm) and weigh between 10 to 18 pounds (4.5 to 8.1 kg). The life expectancy for a gibbon in the wild is approximately 25 years of age.
White Handed Gibbon Ape's tail-less bodies are covered in soft, thick black or brown fur and hairless black faces surrounded by a white ring and as their name suggests, the upper part of their hand is white. The White Handed Gibbon Ape buttocks are covered in thick, coarse pads of skin which provide comfort, as these gibbons spend a large amount of time sitting or sleeping on tree branches.
White Handed Gibbon Ape's are physically capable of walking on the ground, these gibbons prefer to get around by swinging through the trees from branch to branch in a process known as brachiating. This process is made easy by using their long arms and strong hands which enable the White Handed Gibbon Ape to easily cross a gap of 30 feet (9.1 meters). Staying up high in the tree branches enables the White Handed Gibbon Ape to avoid its natural predators, the most dangerous of which is the leopard. Interestingly, they cannot swim so will avoid crossing over open water at all costs. On the occasions the White Handed Gibbon Apes reach the ground, they walk with their arms above their head for balance.
White Handed Gibbon Apes are primarily herbivores, or more specifically frugivores, as their diet is mostly fruit and supplemented with leaves and other plant matter. However, the White Handed Gibbon Ape will on occasion eat other food items such as insects and bird eggs. To get their water intake, they will often lick the moisture from their fur following a rainstorm or after rubbing up against wet leaves and other plant material.
The White Handed Gibbon Apes has a gestation period of seven months. The female is only able to produce one offspring in a year. Their young ones have milky white teeth and buff colored hair, which changes its color to match the adult gibbon after about six months. The White Handed Gibbon Apes reach maturity at the age of 8.
Socially, the White Handed Gibbon Apes tend to be organized in monogamous family pairs, a male and female with their offspring. Typically, once a juvenile White Handed Gibbon Ape reaches sexual maturity at the age of 8, they will leave the group to start their own family. These family groups are firmly territorial, and protect their territory by using their calls to warn off other gibbons. This daily call is performed by the dominant mating pair and is characterized by short, frequent hoots, along with more complex hoots as well as quavering to start and finish the call and can take up to a half an hour from start to finish. These calls are also used within the family group for communication.
Sadly, the White-handed Gibbon is an endangered species, largely due to clearing of their rainforest habitat for logging, building and palm oil plantations. It is estimated that only 10% of their natural habitat remains untouched and this area is mostly within conservation sanctuaries. Other dangers for these primates include hunters who are interested in their meat, as well as capturing the young for pets and in the process the parents are often killed.