Orangutans

By Zoe

Classification

The orangutan is a mammal belonging to the primate family, family Pongidae, (the great apes,) and genus pongo, (gorillas and orangutans.) The two subspecies of orangutan are the Pongo pygmaues, ( from Borneo,) and Pongo albelii, (from Sumatra.) The Bornean orangutan is recognised by its round face and dark red fur. The Sumatran orangutan has a slimmer face and lighter fur. Both have opposable thumbs and four fingers, (like a human.) They can imitate things they see humans doing, and a extremely smart. The two species are definitely related, because their genetics a close enough to interbreed.


Below is an interesting Video about orangutans.


Attenborough: Amazing DIY Orangutans - BBC Earth

Threats

Orangutan's main threat is humans. People are chopping down their trees for palm oil which is leaving them homeless. 40% of their forests are already gone to make way for oil plantations. Another major issue is logging. Peoples' thirst for wood will never be quenched as we will always need wood for paper, burning and furniture. The third major issue is inevitably the worst. People steal baby orangutans and shoot their mothers to sell the babies to rich people as pets. Because of all of this, they are endangered with only 40 000 left in the wild. Scientists estimate that in the next 25 years orangutans will be extinct in the wild.


Diet

Surprisingly, Orangutans are actually omnivorous meaning that they eat both meat and plants. Their favourite food is strangler figs. After eating a large meal of perhaps flower bulbs, figs, insects, small mammals, leaves and seeds, (all part of the orangutan diet), they can go on a thing called a starvation diet. All they eat on a starvation diet is leaves and bark. Orangutans drink water from bit that collect between branches.


Appearance

Orangutans are the largest arboreal mammal. They have strong arms and short legs with hands and feet that can grip. This makes them great tree climbers. Males have cheek flaps that grow larger with age and a baggy throat sac for making "longcalls." Females are 30-50 kg and the males are 50-90 kg. Orangutans are covered with fur ranging from a deep chestnut brown to a dark peachy orange. They look like they simply belong swinging in the trees.


Habitat

Orangutans live in Borneo and Sumatra, thus naming the subspecies. They don't mind what kind of trees they are living in as long as the soil is low and fertile. Despite the surplus of space, there are only 40 000 orangutans left in the wild.


Behaviour and Reproduction

Orangutans are solitary animals except for mating. They are constantly on the move, making two nests each day - one for naps and one for nighttime. A female orangutan can give birth at 14-16 years old in the wild, and the pregnancy takes around 9 months. An orangutan can give birth once every 6-7 years. A baby orangutan usually stays within contact of its mother for 7 years. Orangutans are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day.


An Orangutan Long call:

Orangutan long call

A Video About A Mother and Baby Orangutan

Orangutan Smile