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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 top of branches However they are more efficient at brachiation and 90 of their locomotion is because of this A single swing can transport a gibbon 20 feet in distance Gibbons in their mating patterns form nuclear family groups That is to say their social communities consist of a single mating pair of adults with their juvenile offspring They live in well defined territories in the tree tops and rarely go down to the forest floor Adults regularly defend their territory against others of their species with piercingly loud whooping and hooting vocalizations much like the indris of Madagascar and the howler monkeys of the New World These calls are used to announce location defend territory and to develop and maintain pair bonds The adults sometimes joined by juveniles will sometimes sing duets Each pair develops its own variation on a theme so the vocalizations also identify individuals Singing is typically done at dawn because of its purpose as a locator and spacing mechanism for groups However it may also be heard at other times of the day Gibbons live in small monogamous families composed of a mated pair and up to four offspring Less than six percent of all primate species more than
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