A female of the orangutan with a cub in a native habitat. Bornean orangutan (Pongo o pygmaeus wurmmbii) in the wild nature. Rainforest of Island Borneo. Indonesia. By Sergey Uryadnikov | Shutterstock.com
A female of the orangutan with a cub in a native habitat. Bornean orangutan (Pongo o pygmaeus wurmmbii) in the wild nature. Rainforest of Island Borneo. Indonesia. By Sergey Uryadnikov | Shutterstock.com

About Bornean orangutans.

There are two orangutan species, each inhabiting one of the Indonesian islands: Bornean, the most common, and Sumatran.


Orangutans are the largest living arboreal mammals. Other larger primates, like the gorilla, live on the ground and only climb trees for food. Orangutans, however, “nest” in tree branches and use them to sleep.


Orangutan’s feet are designed like hands and their toes are prehensile with an opposable thumb, which helps them move through the trees, but makes it difficult for them to walk on the ground.


Unlike most great apes, orangutans are quite solitary animals. They spend much more time alone than the other great apes, especially males.


Males of this species have adipose protuberances on the cheeks and neck that make their face look much larger. Once they develop these flanges, they become more territorial against other males. The size of these cheek pads is an advantage against competitors when it comes to mating.


Females give birth an average of every 8 years. This makes them the world’s slowest breeding of all mammals, and adds to the difficulty of the conservation of this critically endangered species.


These animals are the great apes that display the most significant sexual dimorphism. Males can weigh up to three times what a female weighs, they are more muscular, they have a pouch in the throat that gives resonance to their loud calls and they have the protuberances on the cheeks.


They are the non-human mammals with the most “intense” mother-baby relationship. Baby orangutans stay close to their mothers during the first 5 years of their life and they nurse until they are 6-7 years old.


The word “orangutan” means person of the forest (orang means “person” and hutan means “forest”).


It is the only great ape species that lives in Asia.


They are very intelligent animals. Studies have shown that they are capable of using tools in a complex way, similarly to chimpanzees.


Orangutans are critically endangered due to, mainly, the destruction of their habitats. Big plantations (of palm oil, for example) are taking over more and more of the rainforest, leaving them without resources.

The adult male of the Dominant male orangutan with the signature developed cheek pads that arise (testosterone surge). Borneo. Indonesia. By Sergey Uryadnikov | Shutterstock.com
The adult male of the Dominant male orangutan with the signature developed cheek pads that arise (testosterone surge). Borneo. Indonesia. By Sergey Uryadnikov | Shutterstock.com
COMMON NAMECONSERVATION STATUS
Bornean OrangutanCritically endangered
SCIENTIFIC NAMESIZE
Pongo pygmaeus1 – 1.4 m (3.3 – 4.6 ft)
FAMILYWEIGHT
Hominidae30 – 100 kg (66 – 220 lb)
ORDERLIFESPAN
Primates35 – 45 years
CLASSGESTATION PERIOD
Mammalia9 months
POPULATIONDIET
Estimated at 55,000 individualsThey are omnivorous that feed on more than 400 kinds of food, including berries, fruit, leaves, eggs, flowers, honey, insects and tree bark.
HABITATRANGE
Lowland tropical rainforests, swamps and mountain forests.Rainforest areas and forests in the Borneo island

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