Orangutans

By Will

Classification

Orangutans are a part of the primate family. These animals are great apes and are the largest aborial mammal on Earth. Our DNA came 96.4 percent from them. The orangutan's scientific name is Pongo Pygmaeus.


Appearance

The orangutan has reddish-brown hair and are 1.2 to 1.5 metres tall. If you measured an orangutan from fingertip to fingertip when their arms are stretched out it would be 2 metres long. The mass of the average female orangutan is approximately 90 kilograms and the average male orangutan weighs around 130 kilograms. Adult male orangutans have large cheek pads. The orangutan looks reasonably similar to humans if you don't count the hair.


Habitat

The one place on Earth that the orangutans still live in is the rainforest of Borneo. They live in both Indonesian and Malaysian sections of Borneo. The orangutans 400 square kilometres of untouched rainforest. They sleep in trees and make bed-like nests out of leaves. If the nest is made out of brown, dead, old leaves it is an old nest and it was abandoned a while ago whereas if the leaves are made out of green, fresh leaves it has been used recently by an orangutan. Orangutans have naps in their nests and they abandon their nest daily and make a new one every day.

Diet

The diet of an orangutan mainly consists of fruit and their favourite fruit is figs from a strangler fig. However, they can survive for weeks or even months on bark and leaves. This is called the 'starvation diet'. As well as the fig the orangutan also favours palm shoot, rambutan, jackfruit and durian.


Behaviour

Orangutans are creatures that are known to imitate humans and try to do what they do. The orangutan moves and travels a lot and having apposable thumbs on not only their hands but their feet as well helps a lot when they are swinging through the trees and makes them go much faster. The orangutan will attempt to imitate almost anything a human does.
Attenborough: Amazing DIY Orangutans - BBC Earth

Life-Cycle

Orangutans give birth to one baby at a time. Until the male meets a female it lives a solitary life by itself. When the female orangutan gives birth to a baby it looks after the baby for approximately eight years which is the time a baby male orangutan grows its cheek flaps.


Threats

Orangutans are an endangered species and their population is rapidly decreasing . The population of the orangutan is about forty-thousand. Three quarters of the Orangutans are outside protected areas and the whole of Indonesian Borneo is unprotected. Orangutans are mainly dying from tree logging and oil palm plantations but they also die from illegal poaching from hunters. Orangutans are dying every day because of these cruel activities and we should put an end to it!