Significance to humans

Their upright posture, lack of tail, and bipedalism when not brachiating remind people of themselves, especially in view of their large eyes and appealing faces, enhanced by some kind of face ring, and melodic and mournful songs. Gibbons are utterly enchanting for these reasons, made more so by their graceful and dramatic arm-swinging locomotion, as they literally fly through the trees. They are the focus of a variety of folklore. Generally, they are respected, and local people are afraid to harm them, though they are hunted by indigenous people in Malaysia. They may also give way to pressures from outside, or outsiders come in and hunt them for food or medicine or live trade.

Siamang Monkey Illustration

1. Male white-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys); 2. Female hoolock gibbon (Hylobates hoolock); 3. Female black crested gibbon (No-mascus concolor); 4. Male golden-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus gabriellae); 5. Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus). (Illustration by Emily Damstra)

Hylobates Klossii Illustration

1. Agile gibbon (Hylobates agilis); 2. Male mueller's gibbon (Hylobates muelleri); 3. Lar gibbon (Hylobates lar); 4. Moloch gibbon (Hylobates moloch); 5. Kloss gibbon (Hylobates klossi); 6. Female pileated gibbon (Hylobates pileatus). (Illustration by Emily Damstra)

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