Malaysia’s white-handed gibbons may be two subspecies, not one, study shows

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If you get yourself a map of Peninsular Malaysia and color in all the areas in which the Malaysian subspecies of white-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar lar) live, you’ll find a blank spot across the states of Kelantan, northern Perak and northern Terangganu. Here, in this stretch of land between the Muda and Perak rivers, an entirely different species dominates: black-handed gibbons (Hylobates agilis). Their presence splits the white-handed gibbons, which are otherwise scattered across the whole peninsula, into two populations: a northern and southern one. For the past thousands of years, the nor…

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