The Amazing Orangutans

By Violet

Introduction

Orangutans are Asian apes, found in Indonesia and Malaysia, currently only found in the rainforests of Borneo (Malaysia), Narional Parks and Sumatra (Indonesia). The scientific name for the Sumatran Orangutan is called Pongo Abelii and the Borneon Orangutan is called Pongo Pygmaeus. They are the largest arboreal mammal in the world, and also the most intelligent primates. Orangutans are endangered, and near extinction.

Appearance

Orangutans look similar to apes. The Sumatran Orangutans have a lot of facial hair that is reddish-ginger coloured, while the Borneon Orangutans have hardly any facial hair and their's is orangey-reddish-brown coloured fur. Their hair feels spiky and dry and you can see the skin through the hair in spot where there's not much hair. All Orangutans' arms are two times longer than their legs ; to make it easier to swing from branch to branch. The males are about 1.5m tall and weights from 93kg - 130kg. The females are 1.2m and weight from 48kg - 55kg.


You can tell the orangutans apart by their personality. Their personality is easily distinguished, even though there isn't much difference between their appearance. Just like us, orangutans can be shy, sociable and even obnoxious.


Diet

Orangutans mainly eat figs from the strangler fig plant and other fruits. Sometimes when fruit cannot be found, or short of supply, they survive on barks and leaves. 90% of their diet is fruit that include 400 varieties. They also eat nuts from trees sometimes.


Mother and baby orangutan eating

Habitat

Orangutans either live in the rainforest or the national parks. About three-quarters of orangutans live outside national parks, which is a risk of extinction. In the wild, they build their own nests out of leaves and twigs, usually next to or on fruit trees. Orangutans choose areas with the most protection, and they most spend their lives on trees, hardly touching the forest floor. They usually leave their nests after a month and find another fruit tree to build another one next to it.


These Asian apes prefer habitats where they won't be easily spotted. The Sumatran Orangutans spend all of their lives up in trees, to be aware of large carnivorous predators such as tigers and leopards who roam around the forest floor.


However, Borneon male orangutans travel and find food on the forest floor. Females stay in the trees, as they are smaller in size. Orangutans use common routes and can back track to their original route if they needed to. This intelligence roves that orangutans are much like us as they can do what we can


Male Bornean Orangutan (Above)

Male Bornean Orangutans look very similiar to male Sumatran Orangutans, just with orangy - reddish - brown hair and hardly any facial hair

Behaviour/Movement

Orangutans' transportation is swinging from branch to branch. The behaviour is extremely like humans, when living in protected areas with humans looking after them. They imitate us and tend to do the usual things we would do everyday. They share 98% of our DNA.


Even though orangutans are very much like us, they're not very sociable. They only interact with other orangutans when it's mating time. Males live alone and can fight when seeing another male orangutan. Females live with their young until it's time for them to go. After a few months of small orangutans becoming independent, they sometimes visit their mother.

Cute Orangutan Baby Dancing

Lifecycle

The relationship between the male and female lasts 3-10 days, and they don't share their food. The male has no responsibility in raising their young.


After giving birth the baby orangutan, the mother will need to forage for food for 60% of the time and spending 40% of the time sleeping. Baby orangutans weight about 1.5 kilograms and are dependent of their mother until they are 10 and visit their mother frequently until they are 15 or 16. They usually live up to 50 years or more.

Threat

Some people aren't considering orangutans in the wild. They burn trees to use the land to build houses. They also use the trees to collect palm oil. People have already got rid of 40% of the forest for palm oil farms.


Some orangutan poachers kill the baby orangutans' mothers and sell the babies on the black markets for pets and there are only 40 000 orangutans left in the world.


Photo Gallery

Orangutan Quiz