Short Communication


, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 369-374

First online:

Grooming site preferences in wild white-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar)

  • Ulrich ReichardAffiliated withInstitut für Anthropologie der Georg-August-Universität
  • , Volker SommerAffiliated withDepartment of Anthropology, University of California

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During a four-month study of wild white-handed gibbons in Thailand one group was observed for 131 hr. The individuals spent 5.2% of their activity period allogrooming. Several body sites received more respectively less allogrooming than expected. Surface areas easy to clean by autogrooming such as the belly received significantly less allogrooming than expected. Upper body areas which are likely to be infested by parasites and other matter received significantly more allogrooming than lower body parts. Thus, grooming in gibbons seems to reflect a primarily hygienic function.

Key Words

Gibbon Allogrooming Site preferences Hygienic function