The diet of the Hainan Gibbon is restricted to the availability of the select rainforests that they reside in. They are known as frugivores, meaning that they primarily feed on fruits and fruiting trees such as Litchi chinensis, also known as Lychee, which is a tropical Chinese tree with pink and white fruit. Other popular fruiting trees these primates feed on include the Nephelium topengii and Ficus glaberrima (Jiang Zhou et al. 2008).


Figure 7. The above image is of the Lychee, a popular item in the diet of the Hainan Gibbons.

They eat the fruits of over 40 different plants and sometimes including the leaves, shoots, buds, and insects on or in the plants. Occasionally Hainan Gibbons will eat proteins but in very small quantities (B.P.L. Chan et al. 2005). When gibbons drink, they use their limbs to dip in water and then lick it off of their fur. They also use their hands to cup water and drink it.

Find out what other interesting organisms eat, such as the black widow spider or the striped dolphin.

The Hainan Gibbons spends much of the day foraging for food. All the while they must also compete for food with other primates and fruit eating birds, especially during the months between February and April when tree species are limited to less than a quarter of the 40 food plants available (B.P.L. Chan et al. 2005).

The Hainan Gibbon and all other species of gibbons are very precious organisms because they are very rare and at danger for extinction. Because of the small population sizes of the species, it is often difficult to collect data on aspects such as their mating behaviors or nutrition habits, so information can sometimes be limited or specific to one population (Jiang Zhou et al. 2008).


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