COMMON NAME : Sumatran Orangutan

SCIENTIFIC NAME : Pongo abelii

TYPE : Mammals

DIET : Omnivore

SIZE : 120–150 cm tall (standing)

WEIGHT : 33–81 kg. 

IUCN RED LIST STATUS (Global) : Critically Endangered


Life in the Trees

Orangutans’ arms are well suited to their lifestyle because they spend much of their time (some 90 percent) in the trees of their tropical rain forest home. They even sleep aloft in nests of leafy branches. They use large leaves as umbrellas and shelters to protect themselves from the common rains. They forage for food during daylight hours. Most of their diet consists of fruit and leaves gathered from rain forest trees. They also eat bark, insects and, on rare occasions, meat (National Geographic Website).

Solitary Behavior and Reproduction

Even though Orangutans have solitary behavior, mothers and their young share a strong bond. Infants will stay with their mothers for some six or seven years until they develop the skills to survive on their own. Female orangutans give birth only once every eight years—the longest time period of any animal. The animals are long-lived and have survived as long as 60 years in captivity (National Geographic Website).

Threat to Survival

Because orangutans live in only a few places, and because they are so dependent upon trees, they are particularly susceptible to logging in these areas. Unfortunately, deforestation and other human activities, such as hunting, have placed the orangutan in danger of extinction (National Geographic Website).

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