Members of the family Hylobatidae are masters of brachiation, the arm-over arm motion required to do the monkey-bars. Monkey-bars are actually a bit of a misnomer because brachiation is a homologous trait of the apes (Superfamily: Hominoidea) made possible by a shortened olecranon process of the ulna that allows us, members of the ape superfamily, to rotate our arms in wide circles above our heads and swing from branches. Monkeys actually do not have this ability, save for spider monkeys (Genus: Ateles) whom evolved this trait separately and are considered semibrachiators.
Gibbons, like the one in this video, are so agile and can be very playful. They are such fascinating primates, and there’s so much we still have to learn about their evolutionary history. There are two other good videos of gibbons being playful on youtube that I’ve listed below.
Gibbon Teasing Tigers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3CI8I5Si_U
Gibbon Playing with Dog: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoQwOVAN2kk
October 13, 2011