Skywalker hoolock gibbon

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Skywalker hoolock gibbon
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Hylobatidae
Genus: Hoolock
H. tianxing
Binomial name
Hoolock tianxing
Fan & al., 2017 [1]

The Skywalker hoolock gibbon or Gaoligong hoolock gibbon[2] (Hoolock tianxing) is a primate in the gibbon family, Hylobatidae. It is one of three species of hoolock gibbon and was first described in January 2017 in the American Journal of Primatology.[3] Researchers estimate H. tianxing diverged from H. leuconedys roughly 490,000 years ago.[2]


The Skywalker hoolock gibbon is named after Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars franchise, as the scientists who described it are fans of the franchise.[4][5] The specific name tianxing is the Pinyin transliteration of the Chinese terms 天 (tiān) meaning "heaven" and 行 (xing) meaning "movement".[6][7] The name is a reference to brachiation, the main locomotory mode of gibbons, and derived from the text of the I Ching, an ancient Chinese book of divination.[1]


The Skywalker hoolock gibbon is found in the tropical forests of eastern Myanmar and the Yunan Province in southwestern China.[4] About 200 individuals are estimated to live in China and an unknown number in Myanmar.[4]


  1. ^ a b Fan, P-F; He, K; Chen, X; Ortiz, A; Zhang, B; Zhao, C; Li, Y-Q; Zhang, H-B; Kimock, C; Wang, W-Z; Groves, C; Turvey, S.T; Roos, C; Helgen, K.M; Jiang, X-L (2017). "Description of a new species of Hoolock gibbon (Primates: Hylobatidae) based on integrative taxonomy". American Journal of Primatology. 79 (9999): e22631. doi:10.1002/ajp.22631. ISSN 1098-2345. PMID 28073165.
  2. ^ a b Natali Anderson (2017-01-13). "Hoolock tianxing: New Species of Gibbon Discovered in Myanmar and China". Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  3. ^ Brown, Georgia (11 January 2017). "New species of gibbon discovered in China". The Guardian.
  4. ^ a b c "'Star Wars gibbon' is new primate species". BBC News. 11 January 2017.
  5. ^ "New Species of Primate Is Named After 'Star Wars'". National Geographic News. 2017-01-11. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  6. ^ "Tian | Chinese religion". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  7. ^ "Xing dictionary definition | Xing defined". Retrieved 2019-02-18.