Family life


Family is extremely important to gibbons: they rely on their group for survival, and they love to spend time grooming one another, playing and sharing food.

Gibbons form a deep and lasting bond with their mate, and many pair for life. This strong relationship creates a safe group for their young to grow up in. Most often, groups consist of an adult pair, with one to three youngsters of different ages – although there are plenty of variations on this.

Mothers usually give birth to one baby at a time, but sometimes have twins. Young gibbons stay with their parents until they’re about eight years old, when they’re ready to find a mate, create a new family group and establish their own territory.

Unlike other apes, gibbons don’t make nests. That’s because they have built-in cushions! Hard pads on their bums keep them comfy in the crook of a branch, and youngsters snuggle up to their family for warmth.

Gibbons on branch