The orangutan (Pongo) is a great ape that has fur with a color between red and brown. There are two species of orangutan. They are from Southeast Asia. There are very few of them left, because loss of the jungle has reduced their habitat. There are orangutans on view at the Singapore Zoo.
Taxonomy[change | change source]
- Genus Pongo
- Bornean Orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus
- Sumatran Orangutan, Pongo abelii
Appearance[change | change source]
Orangutans have red-brown fur. They have long and strong arms. They also have hands that are good for climbing. The Sumatran Orangutan is smaller and has longer hair than the Bornean Orangutan. Orangutans have suffered from forest loss and are on the very edge of extinction.
Life[change | change source]
Orangutans are from the rainforests on the islands Borneo and Sumatra in Southeast Asia. They mostly live up in the trees. They eat fruit, leaves and bark, but also insects, bird eggs and small vertebrate animals. They drink water from rain that has been collected in leaves. Orangutans are not comfortable on the ground since they have to push themselves along with fists. Heavy adults move carefully through the trees, using their flexible feet to grasp the tree branches. Smaller orangutans swing with more ease.
Diet[change | change source]
An orangutan's diet consists mainly of fruit, they like ripe fruit. If they can't find fruit they will eat bark, leaves and termites, rather than move to somewhere else to get food. About 60% of an orangutan's diet is fruit, 25% is leaves, 10% is bark and flowers, and 5% is termites and other insects.
Pregnancy[change | change source]
After a pregnancy of 230–260 days the female gives birth to usually one baby, but sometimes two, every eight to nine years. The little ones stay with their mother for years, riding on their mother's back and learning to move through the forest. Like human babies, the young orangutans are playful and affectionate. When they are five or six years old, they become more independent and eventually go off on their own.
References[change | change source]
- Groves, Colin; Wilson D.E. and Reeder D.M. (eds) 2005. Mammal species of the world. 3rd ed, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 183-184 ISBN 0-801-88221-4
- "Orangutan Facts –". orangutans-sos.org. Sumatran Orangutan Society. 2011. http://www.orangutans-sos.org/kids/orangutan_facts. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- Blue Planet Level 5, written by Dinorah Pous p.70
Other websites[change | change source]
- Primate Info Net Pongo Factsheet
- Information from Grungy Ape on the difference between the two Orang-utan species
- OrionSociety.org - 'Does an orangutan find Freedom in the Gift of Words? Do We?'
- Orang utan language project
- Facial Expression & Vocalizations
- Orangutan Foundation International non-profit organization dedicated to "support the conservation and understanding of the orangutan and its rain forest habitat while caring for ex-captive individuals as they make their way back to the forest."
- Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative non-profit organization whose mission is to secure the future of the orangutan through programs of education and outreach in Indonesia.
- The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation
- Sumatran Orangutan Society International non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of Sumatran orangutans
|Wikispecies has information on: Ponginae.|
|Wikispecies has information on: Pongo.|
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