Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Hylobates Illiger, 1811

Hominoid genus to which the gibbons (and, for most workers, the siamang) belong; six to eleven species, depending on author. Some workers recognize three subgenera: Nomascus, Symphalangus, and Hylobates. If the siamang is considered to be a separate species, then all Hylobates species are allopatric. Distributed in the forests of Southeast Asia. Arboreal; diurnal; locomotion is brachiation, but they can walk bipedally on the rare occasions when they are on the ground; elongated forelimbs with long slender fingers on the fore paws, which curve and enable the animal to grasp and release branches quickly. These are the smallest apes, weighing between 5 and 11 kg; lack sexual dimorphism. Dental formula: 2.1.2.3; predominantly frugivorous, but some species also have a certain degree of folivory; said to practice terminal branch feeding. Monogamous families are the rule, with both males and females defending their territory; territories delineated by sound.

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