Behaviours

What is a Gibbon’s behaviour?

Gibbons are social animals. They are strongly territorial, and defend their boundaries with vigorous visual and vocal displays. The vocal element, which can often be heard for distances of up to 1 km, consists of a duet between a mated pair, their young also sometimes join in. In most species, males, and in some also females, sing solos that attract mates as well as advertise their territory. The songs can make them an easy find for poachers who engage in the illegal wildlife trade and in sales of body parts for use in traditional medicine.

Most species are threatened or endangered, most importantly from degradation or loss of their forest habitat. Gibbon species include the Siamang, the White-handed or Lar Gibbon, and the Hoolock gibbons. The Siamang, which is the largest of the 12 species, is distinguished by having two fingers on each hand stuck together, hence the generic and species names Symphalangus and syndactylus.

When gibbons reach sexual maturity at six or seven years old, they develop large canines and become aggressive. At this stage they may be dumped or killed. Some owners will give the gibbons to organisations or to The National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department when they reach sexual maturity. They will then acquire a new baby gibbon which will be easier to handle and more attractive to tourists. If they do decide to keep the gibbons, they may file down or remove their canines and then place the gibbon in a tiny cage or chain it up.


Agonistic_behaviour
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Agonistic behaviour

Chasing, fighting and biting another individual, this behaviour can be intra or inter-group. The term includes the behaviours of treat, aggression, fight, dominance, reconciliation and fight, which appear during aggressive intra-specific interaction (territory, hierarchy) (Mainardi 1992).


Auto_grooming
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Auto Grooming

Scratching or picking over part of their bodies using fingers, teeth and/or lips, not including brief scratching. Pause inferior to 1 minute were included in the behaviour.


Auto_playing
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Auto playing

Behaviour showed especially by young gibbons by jumping around in repeated patterns, hanging and twisting around rapidly, manipulating various inanimate objects. It included brief periods of rest (<1 minute).


Brachiating
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Brachiating

To move along by swinging from one hold to the next with the arms.


Climbing
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Climbing

To move toward the top of something using the hands and feet.


Copulating
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Copulation

To have sexual intercourse.

 

 


Defecation
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Defecation
To remove impurities from solution.


Drinking
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Drinking

Gibbons in the wild get much of their moisture needs from the food they eat (i.e fruits). Water can also be licked from the hands or directly from leaves, branches, body. When the water is not available in this form, gibbons can drink from bowls in large trees, in this case the animal dips the hand into the water and lick from the hairds of the hands (Ellefson 1974).


Foraging_wild
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Foraging wild

The animal engaged in plucking and eating in a single large food source or a cluster of food sources. Included plucking, putting into mouth, chewing, shifting postures at one feeding spot, movement around a single food source or tight cluster of food sources to different feeding spots, looking for the next bit of food to pick or spot to move to, and resting for brief intervals (<1 minute).


Foraging_projectfood
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Foraging project food

The animal foraged on food provided by the project, normally taken from one of the feeding stations located in the area.


Hanging
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Hanging and doing nothing

If the gibbon is hanging and doing nothing (it can happens) for more than 1 minute. It is not feeding, not resting.


Human_watching
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Human watching

The gibbon is watching humans.


Jumping_Leaping_1
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Jumping or Leaping

To cause an animal to jump over something.


Jumping_Leaping_2
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Jumping or Leaping

To cause an animal to jump over something.


Mutual_grooming
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Mutual grooming

Grooming and being groomed from other group’s members, including interruptions inferior to one minute.


Resting1
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Resting

The gibbon was sit or reclined in one spot for more than 1 minute, without engaging in other activities, except scratching itself. Resting was not noted when the gibbon was taking a short break within feeding, traveling or playing.


Resting2
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Resting

The gibbon was sit or reclined in one spot for more than 1 minute, without engaging in other activities, except scratching itself. Resting was not noted when the gibbon was taking a short break within feeding, traveling or playing.


Running
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Running


Singing
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Singing

Vocalization male song: The adult male was singing alone in a song’s bout, including brief intervals. The same behavior was noted also if the male continued a duet song but the female stopped replying.

Vocalization female song: The adult female was singing alone in a song’s bout.

Vocalization duet song: Male and female were singing together in a duet song’s bout, including the great call and coda sequence.


Sittng
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Sitting


Sleeping
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Sleeping

Resting eyes closed, lying sideways, on the back, or sitting.


Social_playing
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Social playing

Wrestling, chasing, biting, and fighting with another gibbon, also with possible brief periods of rest (< 1 minute).


Stare_something
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Stare something

Looking at something very specifically.


Sucking
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Sucking

Still feeding on its mother’s milk and not yet weaned.


Urination_2
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Urination
To discharge urine from the body.


Traveling
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Traveling

Moving from tree to tree (without feeding at the same time), for more than 1 minute or more than 50 meters. If the animal was traveling and following the staff to get food from the baskets, a remark was added in the comments. Travel included brief pauses (< 1 minute).


Walking
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Walking

To move or travel on legs and feet, alternately putting one foot a comfortable distance in front of, or sometimes behind, the other and usually proceeding at a moderate pace.


Walking_2
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Walking on the ground


Yawning
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Yawning