Population In Wild: Unknown
The siamang (or Symphalangus syndactylus) is a species of gibbon living in the rainforests of the Malay Peninsula and Indonesian island of Sumatra. Their body is covered in all-black shaggy fur, which is thinner and grey on their faces. Siamangs have very long arms - their arm span approximately measuring twice their body length, short and sturdy legs and no tail. One of their most prominent features is the throat sac under their chin, which inflates during their distinctive vocalisations. Typically, siamangs are 30in to 40in tall and weigh between 22lb and 29lbkg. Like other lesser apes, this species exhibits little to no sexual dimorphism.
Siamangs are considered an endangered species, due to the great decrease in population numbers over the last decades. Deforestation and agricultural land conversion is the main threat to their survival, as their habitat is destroyed to often create palm oil plantations. They are also under pressure from illegal pet trade, where poachers kill mothers to have easier access to their infants in order to sell them. The siamang is a protected species, and several areas throughout their native range have been designated as conservation zones in order to safeguard the remaining populations of not only the siamang, but also other gibbons.
Siamangs live in family groups made up of a monogamous breeding pair with their immature offspring, usually 2 to 3 juveniles. They are very social animals and generally do not live alone.
A siamang reaching sexual maturity will leave their family group to find a mate and establish their own territory. I order to attract a mate, they will vocalize. When a male and female siamang meet, they will begin spending time and sharing food together, and if compatible they will begin bonding by grooming each other and singing 'duets'. They may begin copulating often, from which point on the couple will remain together for life.
Pregnancies last around 8 months, and the female will give birth to a single infant. She will carry it around exclusively for the first 3 months of its life, then less and less. The juvenile begins consuming solid food at 6 months of age, and will be fully weaned at 1 year old. Around this time, the father will become the primary carer, teaching the infant how to traverse the trees, forage, and interact with other siamangs. At around 3 years of age, the juvenile does not require much assistance from its parents anymore, and the mother will usually give birth to a newborn once her first child is 3 years old. Older siblings often aid the father with raising infants.
Siamangs leave their family group at around 6 to 8 years old in order to found their own families, reaching sexual maturity at 8 or 9 years old.
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- Siamang monogamous pairs will often sing together for several minutes to mark and defend their territory and bond with each other.
- The siamang is the largest species of gibbon.
- Siamangs play an important role in their native ecosystems, as frugivores they aid forest regeneration by spreading seeds via defecation.
- Two toes on the siamang's feet are connected by a membrane, a feature unique to the siamang within the gibbon family.
- Siamang families develop very close bonds; parents mate for life and the whole group travels together.