Orangutans

By Chris

Classification

Orangutans are placental mammals, the same type of mammals as humans. Mammals have skin or fur, give birth to live young, and breathe air through their lungs. The scientific names for Orangutans are: Pongo pygmaeus (Bornean Orangutan), and Pongo Abelii (Sumatran Orangutan).


Appearance

The Orangutan is covered by a thick layer of browny - orange fur. The colour of their fur helps provide camouflage in the rainforest where they live. They stand up to 1.25 - 1.5m tall and weigh 50 - 90kg. They have long arms which help them swing from tree to tree. There are two types of male Orangutans, flanged and unflanged. The less common flanged Orangutans have a long coat of black hair on their back but unflanged male Orangutans look just like female Orangutans.


Habitat

Orangutans reside in the low, fertile forests of Malaysia and Indonesia. Orangutans are not particularly fussy about what type of forest they live in, as long as it has a fair source of food. Orangutans live in the canopy of their forest, usually about 70m high, because about 90% of their food source is on the canopy of the forest.


Diet

There are three types of diet classifications; Herbivore (plant eater), Carnivore (meat eater), and Omnivore (plant and meat eater). Out of these, the Orangutan is a omnivore. The Orangutans' diet consists of fruit (65 - 90%), insects, and small mammals. They also have a starvation diet which consists of bark and leaves. Orangutans eat 2,000 calories of food a day.



Life - Cycle

1 - 2 babies is how many babies a female orangutan gives birth to. The babies stay in their mum's belly for 8 months and then stay with their mum (their dad has no role in raising the baby) for 8 years until they go into the wild. The male attracts the female orangutan by giving a loud call. The call can be heard from 1.5km away!

Behaviour

The orangutan is a very smart animal. It uses tools to do its work and it also copies humans' habits such as doing D.I.Y handiwork! The orangutan makes nests that they sleep in only once. The nests are made out of leaves. If the leaves are green, it is a new nest. If the leaves are old, it is an old nest.


Watch the video below to learn more about orangutans.


http://youtu.be/IFACrlx5SZ0

Threats

Over 3/4 of Orangutans live in an unsafe life! This is because of trees being cut down and being replaced with palm oil plantations. Their numbers are also being reduced by bushfires and hunting. There are only 40,000 orangutans left, making them an endangered species.




Other

• Orangutans are closely related to humans

• Orangutans have 7x the strength of humans

• To save the orangutans, we need to replant the forests!

Bibliography