A gibbon taunts tiger cubs

Here we have what looks to be two tiger cubs in a zoo or reserve along with a gibbon who taunts them. The voiceover implies that the gibbon is protecting its territory, but it may also be toying with the cats—to the extent of pulling their ears and tails! The other question I have is whether those cubs could really do any damage to the gibbon.

Regardless, the athleticism and grace of this monkey is simply stunning.

As one reader remarked, gibbons make great cat toys because they can get themselves out of danger.

 

h/t: Michael

29 Comments

  1. mikeyc
    Posted January 20, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Amazing brachiation.

  2. Posted January 20, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Hilarious…

  3. Michael Fisher
    Posted January 20, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    He’s very accurate with the ear tweaking! I wondered if gibbons use such gymnastic accuracy to pluck fruit from difficult locations they can only reach by swinging past on the move.

    PS forgive my pedantry, but they’re lesser apes

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 20, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Bad Monkey

  5. GBJames
    Posted January 20, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Amazing scene! (But shouldn’t we be saying “ape” instead of “monkey”?)

  6. Posted January 20, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    That reminds me: not seen this week’s Big Cats yet.

  7. Merilee
    Posted January 20, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    What a smart-ass gibbon! Good thing he doesn’t have a long tail for the kitties to grab.

  8. rickflick
    Posted January 20, 2018 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Teasing is WRNOG!

  9. ploubere
    Posted January 20, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I have seen this before, but it’s worth a repeat. Amazing athleticism.

  10. Thanny
    Posted January 20, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Gibbons are apes.

    Still monkeys (as are we), but it’s customary to use the more specific grouping in contexts such as this.

  11. Barb
    Posted January 20, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    What a nuisance. The poor kitties could get mad! 🙂

  12. Posted January 20, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    That was hilarious! Thanks, I needed the laughs!

    I love gibbons (who are lesser apes, not monkeys). I often watch videos of gibbons, such agility and grace!

    • Posted January 20, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      I used the conventional argot for monkeys, according to which apes ARE monkey. Don’t believe me? Here’s Wikipedia:

      Apes emerged within the catarrhines with the Old World monkeys as a sister group, so cladistically they are monkeys as well. However, traditionally apes are not considered monkeys, rendering this grouping paraphyletic.

      • Posted January 20, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Then, by the same token, we humans are monkeys too. That’s fine with me! 😀

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted January 20, 2018 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

          We’re also fish. In that, we’re both vertebrates, craniates, and not Elasmobranchs (cartilaginous fish).
          CF, if an example were needed, the Neil Shubin book oft-mentioned round here, “Your Inner Fish”.

    • nicky
      Posted January 21, 2018 at 2:25 am | Permalink

      To be pedantic: white-handed gibbon or lar, Hylobates lar.
      What a wonderful video! Pity they had to add a soundtrack and silly comments, the most obvious explanation is that the monkey is just teasing the cats.

  13. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted January 20, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic video. I wonder why tigers have white spots on the back of their ears?
    Does anyone know?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 20, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Nobody knows why. All sub-species of both sexes of tiger have those white ear spots [also known as flashes]

      These here are the best explanations I’ve found on the web:

      [1] Illusory ‘eyes’ to fool prey

      [2] Illusory eyes to discourage other predators who normally hunt and attack from the rear.

      [3] Cubs use these to find and follow their mothers in tall grass. When a tigress drops into the stalking position, with ears flattened against her head, these spots are obscured so making it more difficult for the cubs to follow and ruin the kill. This suggestion is weakened by the fact that these spots appear on both males and females — and males have nothing at all to do with the raising of cubs.

      [4] A signal of aggression, especially to other tigers. A tiger under threat will rotate the ears in such a way that the spots can be seen from the front so providing a visual warning.

      Of course we probably should not assume there’s only one reason. I strongly doubt [1] & [2] – a predator that would take on a tiger would surely not be that common a situation as to make it worthwhile for a tiger to develop eye-like spots & there’s a price to pay in being more noticeable from behind in the grass.

      I like [3] & [4] combined. Perhaps we should study how tigers rotate their ears in different situations – in combination with their other communication tools: growls, mouth, tail position/motion & stance being the four that come to mind. I read that they have a ‘flash’ on the tail to, but as far as I can tell from Google Images this is untrue.

      • Lars
        Posted January 20, 2018 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

        They may also be useful for mother tigers to keep track of their cubs once they start to wander.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted January 20, 2018 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

          Yes. Evolution has yet to come up with toddler training reins 🙂

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 20, 2018 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        Odd, no mention of sexual selection. I’d have thought that would be high on any such list.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted January 20, 2018 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

          Yes – now you mention it
          I saw no reference to sexual selection as a possible mechanism
          But does the same sexually selected trait usually operate on both sexes?

          • rickflick
            Posted January 21, 2018 at 4:31 am | Permalink

            I thought there had to be bimorphism by definition.

  14. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 20, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Very amazing. Needed to turn off the sound effects though.

    • BJ
      Posted January 20, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      I found the India Jones punch effect was very amusing.

  15. Dionigi
    Posted January 20, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Who is it who thinks that the unwashed public need to have added sound effects, scripted music and inane comments to enhance a video to make it appealing. I could not watch whilst listening to the soundtrack.

    • rickflick
      Posted January 20, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. I’ve learned to turn off sound or simply tune out the distractions. It’s become just one more internet hazard.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 20, 2018 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      Who is it who thinks that the unwashed public need to have added sound effects, scripted music and inane comments to enhance a video

      The Great Unwashed, whose idea of “qwalety” involves all of the above, and so will gormlessly an incompetently paste such things onto something under the delusion that they too are sound and video editors.
      Preceding generations had baby videos and baby photos to manipulate. This generation mangles cat videos. If you want to wake up screaming about the horrors that await, consider the idea of 3d-printed sex dolls. That should lower the meaning of “appalling” considerably further.
      Here’s one for the philosophers – is there a level of “terrible” which cannot be lowered? Answers, written in green ink on puce post cards to “Disgusted, Tonbridge Wells”.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted January 20, 2018 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        Dad Dancing is close


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