Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus
Found only on the island of Borneo in South East Asia. (A different subspecies is found only on Sumatra)
Lowland swamp and primary forest
Male: Height: 0.97 m (3.2 ft); Weight: 90 kg (198 lbs)
Female: Height: 0.78 m (2.6 ft); Weight: 50 kg (110 lbs)
A single infant about every 4-8 years
Frugivore/Omnivore: 60% fruit (mainly figs); other plant materials including leaves, bark, flowers, and nuts; and rarely insects and small mammals
Leafeater biscuits, banana, apple, carrot, green peppers, various leafy greens, milo and other seeds, and hard boiled eggs
Up to 40 years
Up to 50
Endangered, CITES Appendix I - Scientists estimate that wild orangutans could be extinct in 5-10 years if their forest habitat continues to be destroyed at the current rate. Forests in Borneo and Sumatra are being destroyed to grow palm oil, a fatty oil used in snack foods, popcorns, household cleaning supplies and cosmetics. An easy way to help wild orangutans is to avoid products that contain palm oil. If you want to be more proactive, write letters to the companies who produce those products and ask them to stop using palm oil.
Habitat loss due to palm plantations and the capture of baby orangutans for sale
Their coat coloration can vary from an orange to a brown to a maroon. They have a fringe of hair on their foreheads and the hair on their arms runs in both directions towards the elbow to help shed rain water. They have a mostly hairless, dished face (except that adults have whiskers on the cheek and chin). Their skull is narrow and heavy and there is no visible neck. Their muzzles are large and rounded. The adult males have fatty pads on the sides of their faces, deep-set eyes, and a large throat pouch that extends under the arms and over the shoulders. They have long arms and short legs. Their legs are able to be at right angles to the body for better maneuverability in the trees. Their hands are long, slender and prehensile with a thumb that is short and set close to the wrist. The feet are hook-like with a small big toe, similar to hands. Their fingers and toes have strongly curved nails.
They are usually found singly or an adult female with her most recent offspring. Each individual needs large amounts of fruit and the patches of food in the rainforest are small. Each patch of food can only support one orangutan, so this forces them to be solitary and have little social interactions.
Orangutans have tremendous strength, which enables them hang upside down from branches for long periods of time in order to retrieve fruit. They shelter themselves from rain and sun by holding leafy branches over their heads, and when they make a night nest in the trees, will sometimes add a leafy roof.
They are generally quieter than other apes. The male has a long call lasting up to 2 min. This call is aided by a large throat sac so that it can be heard up to 1 km (0.62 mi) away through the dense vegetation. This call helps the male define his territory. Both sexes can also make a “kiss-squeak” noise that shows annoyance.
The males are very aggressive towards one another and their territories do not overlap.
They live high in the canopy to avoid predators; therefore they have no natural predators other than humans.
Even though they are able to walk upright for short distances (with all four limbs, using the knuckle pads on the back of the digits of the hands) orangutans travel mostly through trees, using well-worn corridors in the forest canopy.
They play an essential role as seed dispersers throughout the forest of Indonesia as they digest and eliminate waste. They choose select green leaves and shoots, and as doing so act as pruners that aid in regenerating plant growth.