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Malay common name: Siamang

English common name: Siamang

Scientific name: Symphalangus syndactylus


rank: Endangered

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

You can easily recognize me by my most prominent feature: a large pouch just below my chin. This pouch inflates to the size of my head and makes my voice even louder while I’m calling and singing. I make my territory by singing, so the louder the better. You can hear some of my singing in this video. I’m part of the gibbon family, making me a lesser ape. I live high up in the canopy of the forest and my long arms help me swing from branch to branch; this way of moving through the trees is called brachiation. I can jump very high, sometimes as high as 10 metres to launch myself across gaps between trees. My arms can grow to be two and a half times longer than my body! Can you imagine if your arms were that long? I like to hang by one arm while snacking on my favourite foods, which are figs and young leaves. Sadly, fig trees only produce fruit for a limited time during the year so I can’t eat them all the time and have to rely on other food sources. When I’m hungry but can’t find figs, I feed on 160 other varieties of plants!

You can visit me in Peninsular Malaysia at Fraser's Hill, Krau Wildlife Reserve, Royal Belum State Park, and Ulu Gombak forests. I also live in these protected areas in Sumatra, Indonesia: Bukit Barisan National Park, Gunung Leuser National Park, and Way Kambas National Park.

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