Orangutans

By rosalili

Classification

The name orangutan (scientific name Pongo) comes from Malay. Orang meaning person, utan meaning forest so orangutan means person of the forest. Orangutans come from the great ape family, which means that they are related to chimps, apes, and gorillas, but they still have 98% human DNA! There are 2 species of orangutan the Bornean and the Sumatran orangutan. 100 years ago there where at least 315,000 orangutans but now there are less than 7,000. Help the orangutans by stopping oil palm plantations.


Appearance

Orangutans are the largest arboreal mammal alive. With long shaggy hair, strong arms and a gentle nature it's got to be an orangutan. Orangutans have curved hands and feet which are helpful when your swinging from tree to tree. They also have thumbs which makes them similar to humans. The males grow cheek pads on the side of their head but that is not the only thing they grow. On the males the thick hair they grow is longer than on the female body. the male orangutan can even grow beards and moustaches!

Diet

Orangutans aren't picky about what they eat, orangutans Will even eat bark and leaves (only bark and leaves) for a whole month! This is called a starvation diet. Although 60-90% of their diet is fruit, including their favourite food Strangle figs, they can also eat birds eggs, honey, insects and vegetation. As I said before they're not fussy eaters.


Habitat

Where do you find orangutans? It's obvious China! Wrong! The misty jungles of Indonesia and Malaysia is where the orangutans live. The orangutan is also found in the islands of Borneo and Sumatra where the Bornean and Sumatran orangutans live. But they can live basically anywhere as long as there is a bit of forest. Which challenges the idea that we need to protect the enviroment by not cutting down trees. but they still shoudnt be allowed to cut them down, orangutans hardly ever go on the ground so it is important they still have trees to reside in. maybe if we stop cutting down trees 3 quarters of orangutan species might be able to live outside protected areas in peace. Speaking of trees did you know that orangutans build nest-like beds made of branches, leaves and twigs. Since they are always on the move (apart from when they are sleeping) they only use it once ,very rarely twice. The brown nests are used, the green ones are fresh-but stll used and the ones with orangutans in them, currently being used.

Life Cycle

The life of an orangutan starts when he is a baby (obviously). The orangutan is not born from eggs because he is a mammal. The orangutan is born an only child which means he has no siblings, there is sometimes a chance that another oranguutan is born but that chance is very rare. Orangutans live with thier mum for 7-8 years and then they go into the wild by themselves. Once they do, they learn the ability to think, reason and mimic. They can copy things that humans do such as DIY, washing socks or even walking dogs. Orangutans have the life span of around 40 years in the wild but in protected areas they can live up to 60 years.

Conclusion

That is all I know about orangutans. I hope you were entertained and now know the importance of not chopping trees down. But make sure you help stop the palm oil plantations from killing poor defenceless orangutans just so they can sell cosmetics and paper! So help the orangutans or they will become extinct.