Are gibbons intelligent?
Yes! At the Zoo, keepers conduct daily training sessions with the gibbons. They may not learn as quickly as gorillas and orangutans, but they can still pick up new behaviors. Bradley is trained to participate in his own care and voluntarily lets keepers give him injections, file his nails, take his temperature and check his heart rate.
While there are no documented cases of gibbons exhibiting true tool-use like great apes, gibbons are capable of object-directed problem solving. In other words, they can solve simple puzzles. Ronnie, for example, figured out how to get treats out of an enrichment toy by unscrewing the base. There are few studies on gibbon intelligence, so researchers have a lot more to learn.
Do gibbons have any predators?
Leopards, large snakes, and big birds of prey will eat gibbons … if they can catch these arboreal acrobats. Predators may not actively hunt gibbons, because they are not easy prey.
Why do gibbons howl (or “sing”)?
Gibbons defend their territories by making loud calls that can echo for miles. They compose complex songs of deep “booms,” blaring “wows” and barks, that start off slow and then grow faster.
Siamangs, the largest gibbons, have throat pouches that inflate to amplify their calls. Their throat sacs can expand to about the size of a grapefruit! Listen to their calls: