Siamangs are found in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. Siamangs primarily eat fruits and leaves, but also consume flowers and insects. As of 2020, siamangs are classified as endangered by the IUCN. The greatest threats to their survival are palm oil production, logging, and the illegal trade in wildlife.
ECOLOGY & HABITAT
Like the smaller-bodied gibbons, siamangs are monogamous (pair-bonded) and their family groups typically consist of a pair of adults and young offspring. Siamangs use vocalizations to communicate with other members of their species and to defend their territory by warning other nearby groups of their presence. Pair-bonded males and females often “duet” by making long, complex vocalizations together. Siamangs have a large, inflatable throat sac that helps them to make loud, long vocalizations. There is not much known about the cognitive abilities of siamangs. There is only about a 4% difference in the DNA of humans and siamangs.
LOCOMOTION & BODY SIZE
Siamangs use a type of arboreal locomotion called brachiation, which involves arm-swinging from branch to branch in order to travel between trees. Siamangs are the largest of all the gibbon species. Siamangs are about 2.5 to 3 feet tall (89 to 107 cm). Males are only slightly larger than females. Siamangs typically weigh between 22 and 26 pounds (10 to 12 kg).
Siamangs can live to be over 40 years old when in captivity, but in the wild, their maximum lifespan is usually about 25 years old.