Orangutans

By Ellie

Classification

The orangutans are one of the great apes. The actual word 'orangutan' in Malay means human of the forest. The great ape orangutan, is a furry mammal. Ninety-six point four percent of orangutan is actually human!


Appearance

When you first think of a orangutan, you probably picture a red furred human. The red-amber fur is one of the only things that separate them from humans. There feet and hands are almost exactly the same as humans. For the orangutans to live in forests, the need essentials features. As this great creature swings elegantly through the trees, the use their feet like hands to clutch on to the passing forest. There two meter tip to tip arm length helps them get through the jungle. The male orangutan has a so called sac under his which assists him attract females.


Diet

About 60% of the orangutan's diet includes fruit e.g. durians, jackfruit, lychees, mangosteens, mangoes and figs.If there are no fruit availibale they will scavenge for young roots, leaves bark. They will occasionally eat eggs and small vertabrates. This is called there survival food. They also get most of their water from the fruit, but also treeholes.

Behavior

The orangutans are constanly on the move. They sleep over night only once on there green nests that they make for the occasion. They then move on to eat, make another nests and to mate. Some orangutans use old nests to sleep but other wise use there own. Ninety percent of the orangutans day is in the trees. The other percent is when they are scavenging around for food on the ground. As the orangutans watch use humans work they copy us and try themselves! Watch the video below!!


Attenborough: Amazing DIY Orangutans - BBC Earth

Life Cycle

The male orangutan's sac under his chin helps attract females. They inhale some air and exhale in a call. This 'call' can be heard from two kilometers away. Once the male and female chose each other they mate. The baby stays in its mothers stomach for eight months, then giving birth to a single young occasionally twins. Once the young is about 3.5 years of age and more mature the mother gives birth to a second young. Mothers first give birth between a ten to fifteen years age gap. The mother stays with her young for seven years. Over the years she teaches them essentials when living in the rainforest. The average life span of a wild orangutan is thirty-five to forty-five years of age. However in captivity they can have a live to 60 years, when being cared properly.


Threats

Orangutans are now only found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. There is a prediction that a century ago there was more than 230,000 orangutans. There has been a massive decline of their population. Although the dense forest home is hard to find there is an estimated 41,000 individual orangutans living in Borneo and 7,500 in Sumatra.The reason for their decline of population is to do with the logging companies wanting their trees and the palm oil inside them.


WWF Australia

WWF Australia is a great organisation helping all animals, including orangutans.
Donate so money today to help animals have the life they deserve.