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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 7:29 EDT

Silvery Gibbon

The silvery gibbon (Hylobates moloch) is a primate in the Hylobatidae or gibbon family. Their skin is bluish gray colored with a dark grey or black cap. Like all gibbons they do not have a tail and their arms are very long compared to their body. They reach an average weight of 17.64 pounds (8 kg).

The silvery gibbon lives exclusively on the island of Java. It inhabits deeply hidden portions of the rain forests. It is diurnal and arboreal. It climbs trees skillfully and moves through the forests. Its diet consists of fruits, leaves and flowers.

On average every three years the female, after a seven-month pregnancy, births a single young. The offspring is nursed for about 18 months and lives with the family group until it is fully mature at about 8 years.

The silvery gibbon ranks among the most threatened primates. The island of Java is very closely settled with the natural range of the species being pushed into ever-smaller areas. One estimate says that there are no more than 2000 animals scattered among various reservations. Several zoos operate breeding programs, but the survival of this species is questionable.

Like all gibbon species it lives together in pairs and stakes out a territory that the pair strongly defends. The silvery gibbon has relatively small territories of about 42 acres (17 ha). Females sing great calls to declare their territory several times a day. If strangers are spotted it is the duty of the male in the pair to scare them off with a show of loud screams.

Silvery Gibbon