, 50:45

Predation on giant flying squirrels (Petaurista philippensis) by black crested gibbons (Nomascus concolor jingdongensis) at Mt. Wuliang, Yunnan, China


  • Peng-fei Fan
    • Kunming Institute of ZoologyChinese Academy of Sciences
    • College of Life Science and ChemistryDali University
    • Kunming Institute of ZoologyChinese Academy of Sciences
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10329-008-0110-5

Cite this article as:
Fan, P. & Jiang, X. Primates (2009) 50: 45. doi:10.1007/s10329-008-0110-5


Predation on vertebrates is infrequent in gibbons. In a 14-month field study of the central Yunnan black crested gibbon (Nomascus concolor jingdongensis) at Mt. Wuliang, Yunnan, China, we observed gibbons attacking, killing and eating giant flying squirrels (Petaurista philippensis). During 845 h of observation on one study group, the gibbons attacked giant flying squirrels 11 times, and succeeded in 4 cases. Although all members of the group attempted to attack the squirrels, all four successful attacks were made by the same adult female. The victims were infants in three cases and a juvenile or sub-adult in one case. Black crested gibbons also attacked adult giant flying squirrels by grabbing their long tails and throwing them from the canopy, but they failed to catch or kill the prey in three cases observed. Passive meat sharing occurred in three out of four successful cases. Besides hunting giant flying squirrels, the black crested gibbons also ate eggs or chicks in two birds’ nests and one lizard.


Food sharing Meat eating Nomascus concolor jingdongensis Petaurista philippensis Predation

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer 2008