Orangutans

By Jonathan.O

Introduction/Classification

The scientific name for a Orangutan is Pongo. The orangutan is the LARGEST tree- climbing mammal in the world! There are only 2 types of orangutans, the Bornean Orangutan and the Sumatran Orangutan, since they are so endangered!


Appearance

Orangutans are ape-like in their body shape with shaggy reddish brown fur. They have grasping hands and feet. They have very long arms that can reach as much as 2 meters in length. Orangutans's legs are quite short and weak, but their hands and arms are strong. The female orangutan weighs 30-50 kilograms, and the male weighs 50-90 kilograms

Habitat

Orangutans are found in Indonesia on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. They were once widespread throughout mainland Asia. Orangutans prefer a habitat that exists along rivers and in lowlands because of their high need of fruit. An Orangutan's normal habitat is the tropical rainforest. The map on the right shows the distribution of Orangutans in Indonesia. Click on the map to enlarge.

Diet

Because orangutans are such large animals, they rely on large amounts of high calorie, high energy foods. Fruit makes up as much as 90% of their diet. They also eat leaves, shoots, seeds, buds, flowers, bark, insects and mineral rich soil. They have also been known to eat meat.


Behaviour

The orangutan likes spending a lot of time alone, although, of course a female with a baby will spend all her time with the baby. Some females do like to spend a bit of time with other orangutans, but the males pretty much spend their time alone. Sumatran orangutans are more social than orangutans in Borneo.


To watch an orangutan in action, click on the video below!


Attenborough: Amazing DIY Orangutans - BBC Earth

Threats

There are a number of threats to orangutans, including palm oil farming, deforestation, illegal hunting and illegal pet trading.


To hear about the threats to orangutans, listen to the song below!


Estimated Number of Remaining Orangutans

The table below displays a estimation of the number of orangutans left in Sumatra and Borneo.




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