Orangutan

By Sapumal

Classification

There are two species of orangutan. Pongo Pygemaeus and Pongo Abelii. These animals are part of the great apes, which include Gorrilas, Chimpanzees and Gibbons. They also share 98 percent of our DNA, which makes them one of our closest relatives. These orangutans are classified in this order: Animalia, Mammalia, Hominidae, Pongo.


Appearance

There are some differences between the Bornean (Pongo Pygmaeus) and the Sumatran (Pongo Abelii). The Sumatran is smaller than its Bornean relative, and it also has much shorter body hair and this is usually much darker in colour than the Bornean orangutan.


However both these orangutans share the same physical features. They have long arms in fact the arms are longer than their legs! The arms are so long, a whopping two meters finger to finger, because they have to use these to swing through the trees. Their legs are weak as they are rarely used.


The Bornean male orangutans have have a pebbly chin pouch under their skull. Both Pygmaeus and Abelii males have two pebbly skin features on their cheeks. Males also have larger teeth than the females. The eyes are placed inside of these features.


The most amazing body feature of the orangutan is their fingers. These can be used to grasp things and use the things.


Though they are different species, the Pygmaeus and Abelii are quite similar.

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Diet

The diet of an orangutan is quite variable. They eat fruit, especially figs and durian. They also eat meat to provide proteins for their diet and have been known to eat soil to get vital minerals.



Orangutans also help the forest by dispersing seeds so there are more trees for more orangutans.


Orangutans can live on a "starvation diet" for months. This diet consists of leaves and bark.

Threats

Orangutans suffer from many threats. Some are deforestation and hunting. This is a video on the dangers to orangutans


Orangutans - The Grim Facts

Behaviour

The orangutan has one of the most intelligent brains of all mammals. They have enough memory to copy things done by other animals, including us. They cand copy D.I.Y skills and handle a saw, as well as remembering how to row a boat. It is a very intelligent animal.


With these amazing skills are an array of others. They build a nest for the knight, weaving an intricate structure that they only ever use once. They build a new nest every night. They also use tools. They use sticks to dig up ants and termites and use leaves to clean their bottom after going to the toilet. This all because of their big brain.


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Life Cycle

Orangutans are slow at reproducing which is why they are making a slow comeback from extinction. The female only becomes reproductive at 5-10 years of age and only produce one offspring or in some rare cases a set of twins. The male becomes fertile at about the same time as the females.


Though it takes a long time between giving birth, about four years, the females care for their young for three and a half and show them the ropes of survival. This care makes them them the longest young caring animals in the world after humans.

Habitat

Orangutans live in the steaming forests of Borneo and Sumatra. They are living by the thread as only 10,000 orangutans live in the reserves they are meant to live in while 40,000 live in unprotected jungle. They live around the canopy of the jungle as that is where they will find most of their food.