Bornean Orangutan

Pongo pygmaeus


  • Domain Eukarya: All of the organisms in this group has a nucleus. These animals can either be single celled or multicellular. These animals have no chorplast and a cell wall.

  • Kingdom Animalia: These animals lack a cell wall. Their cells are organized into tissues. Each tissue performs specific functions. These animals are able to move in complex and rapid movement. Most animals reproduce sexually.

  • Phylum Chordata: This group has bilateral symmetry. These animals have three germ layers to protect their bodies. Their digestive system is complete.

  • Subphylum Vertebrata: Has endoskeletons that is either bony or cartilaginous. Cartilagionous means having a skeleton that's either entirely or mainly made up of cartilage. Moves by using muscles attached to the endoskeleton. This group has a digestive system and has two kidneys that is able to drain waste.

  • Class Mammalia: Has three middle ear bones which is the malleus, incus, and stapes. These bones are more commonly known as the hammer, anvil, and stirrup. All mammals have hair during the ontogeny phase. This stage is when the organism starts to develop. Mammalian hair is made up of a protein which is called keratin. Mammalian hair insulates the body. It also has a sensory function that allows the animal know if it's going to hit an object or not. The hair also helps with camouflage or to warn predators that its dangerous. The hair helps with protection. Production of milk is made by mammary glands that modified from sweat glands.

  • Order Primates: This group has a skull, teeth, and limbs. Their toes have nails or claws. The primates are divided into two groups called the Strepsirrhini and the Haplorrhini. Strepsirrhine primates has a nose, and lower incisors which is any of the four anterior (front) teeth that is used for cutting and gnawing food. Haplorrhine primates are thought as the "higher" primates. Unlike the Strepsirrhini primates, these primates have furry noses.

  • Family Hominidae: The females are smaller than males. These primates are the biggest. They have well-developed forearms. All toes and fingers have flattened nails. They have no tails. The nostrils are close together. The nostrils are also facing forward and downward.

  • Genus Pongo: This genus only has the Bornean orangutan in it.

  • Species: Pongo pygmaeus

General Description

  • Height: The average height of a male orangutan is 175 cm. The average height of a female orangutan is 127 cm.

  • Weight: A male can weigh up to 117.934 kilograms while a female can weigh up to 63.5029 kilograms.

  • Color: Males and females range from either bright orange to maroon or bright orange to dark chocolate.

  • Natural Range: The natural range of the Pongo pygmaeus is the island of Borneo. You can't find them anywhere else except the zoo.

  • Diet: They eat mostly fruit but also eats insects, tree bark, tree leaves.

  • Habitat Description: The Bornean orangutan only lives in the island of Borneo. Orangutans rarely goes on the ground. Lives in old forests that ranges from lowland swampy forests to tall hardwood tropical trees. They live in tropical rainforests and is rarely seen above 1000 meters.

  • Predators: The only predator of the orangutan is humans. Tigers used to be a predator but there's no more tigers on Borneo.

Physical Adaptations

Bornean orangutans' skins are dark gray and is coarse. The hair is sparse, which means that it is scattered all over the body, so that the skin can show through the hair. The hair isn't thick because it is hot in Borneo. Their forms are adapted to their arboreal life-style, which means that they are adapted to living high up in the trees. Bornean orangutans rarely go on the ground and spends much of their time up in the trees. They have very long fingers to grasp things including fruit. They also have dexterous hands which means that they are very skillful of using their hands. Their hands are well adapted for using tools. Some tools that they use and make is an umbrella. They make umbrellas out of leaves to cover themselves from the rain. Their arms are one and a half times longer than their legs. Since the arms are very long, it is easy for orangutans to live and swing from trees. Their hands and feet are long and narrow and is good to grasp items. The Pongo pygmaeus's feet are similar to their hands. The toes are long and grasps branches while climbing. Bornean orangutans have large brains. They are very smart. They can learn to do many things.

Behavioral Adaptations

Orangutans takes twigs and puts it into ant holes and when ants climbs up, they take the twig out of the hole and licks it clean. They are adapted for using tools. Both humans and orangutans love the fruit durian. The orangutans adapted to throw sticks and shake branches so the leaves fall at the humans so that they will go away. Since the Bornean orangutan has predators that live on the ground, they learned to stay away from the ground. They rarely come down to the ground. Instead of using all of their five fingers, orangutans use four of their fingers and their palm to pick fruit off of trees. They adapted to use four of their fingers and their palm because they can't use their thumbs. Orangutans builds their nests between 30 and 70 feet high on trees. Their nests has a roof that's made from leaves to protect them from the rain. This makes chimps' and gorillas' nests different. They don't have roofs. The nest takes only about five minutes to make. An orangutan makes a new nest at its next stopping place.


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