Sumatran Orangutan

Pongo abelii


Domain Eukarya:

  • all organisms in this domain have a cell with a nucleus
  • the organisms in this domain can be multi-celled or single-celled

Kingdom Animalia:

  • all animals are multi-celled
  • all animals are heterotrophs which means that they are consumers
  • animals digest most of their food internally
  • the cells don't have cell walls

Phylum Chordata:

  • all organisms have bilateral symmetry which means that they have a definite right and left side
  • the organisms have segmented bodies and muscles
  • the segmented muscles and bodies create different parts in their body and are called different things such as arms and legs

Subphylum Vertebrata:

  • includes reptiles, fish, amphibians, birds, and mammals
  • each species share a column of chain-like bones down the middle of their back
  • the bone pieces are called vertebrae

Class Mammalia:

  • every mammal has 3 characteristics that other animals don't
  • they have 3 middle ear bones
  • they have hair that either covers them fully or partially
  • can produce milk on their own with their mammary glands

Order Primates:

  • there are around 233 living species in this order
  • there are 13 different families
  • the largest primate is the gorilla weighing from 48 kg to 270 kg

Family Hominidae:

  • in the past most classifications only put humans in this family
  • other apes were classified to be in the family Pongidae
  • Hominids weigh from 48 kg to 270 kg
  • most males are larger than females

Genus Pongo:

  • Pongo means orangutan


  • Pongo abelii

General Description

More Facts

Weight: 30-90 kg (66.08-198.24 lb)

Height: 1.3-1.8 m (4.27-5.91 ft)


  • long fine red hairs cover the body and face
  • males have large cheek pads
  • the cheek pads are covered in small white hairs
  • males have small white hairs on their cheeks and females don't
  • child and adult colors have no difference
  • since the hairs covering the body are very fine and thing, you are able to see the skin underneath the hair


  • humans are the orangutan's main predator
  • the reason that orangutans are endangered because humans hunt them
  • to capture an orangutan, a human takes a fruit called the durian fruit to lure the orangutan in than captures it


  • orangutans are found in tropical lowland forests such as mangroves and swamp forests
  • live mostly in trees
  • elevations that the orangutans are found at are about 200-400 m high but they can be found up to 1,000-1,500 m high in elevation

Behavioral Adaptations:

  • make loud noises to warn other orangutans if being attacked
  • build nests in highly elevated places to find food more easily in fruiting trees
  • make loud noises if feels threatened
  • build nests high above ground to be safe from predators
  • make loud noises to scare predators away
  • make noises called "long-calls" that can be heard up to 1.2 miles away
  • infants stay with their mothers for 6-7 years until they are mature enough to survive on their own

These behavioral characteristics helps orangutans survive because they are able to warn each other if there is danger, they are able to live in peace away from their predators, and they are able to find their food without the worry of loosing their home because they are able to build new ones.

Physical Adaptations:

  • have strong arms to be able to climb up trees
  • have strong arms to climb from tree to tree
  • have long arms and fingers to be able to get a good grip on vines and branches

These physical adaptations help the orangutan survive from its natural predators and to be able to get the food it needs.


Burton, M. (2002). Orangutan. In International wildlife encyclopedia (3rd ed., Vol. 13, pp. 1797-1799). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.

Orangutan (Pongo pygmeaus). (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2015, from National Geographic website:

Red apes of the forest. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2015, from San Diego Zoo website:

Sumartan orangutan. (n.d.). Retrieved from Cincinnati Zoo website:

Urban, K. 2008. "Pongo abelii" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 11, 2015 at