Saturday, December 24, 2011


The orangutan, Pongo pygmeus, a great ape like gorilla, is native to the forest on the island of Borneo and Sumatra. Its name is Malayan and means, "man of the woods." Orangs have a shaggy coat of long, coarse, reddish brown hair. Adult males also have reddish blond beards and mustaches, well developed cheek pads, and a large throat pouch that is used as a sound resonator to reinforce calls. Males are markedly larger than females averaging about 75 kg (165 lb) in weight, females, averaging about 40 kg (90 lb). A large male in the wild may weigh 100 kg (220 lb) and stand about 1.4 m (4.5 ft) tall. The orang's arm to ankles when the animal stands erect.

Orangs often live in small group of two to four animals, but adult males may be solitary. Orangs are arboreal, seldom leaving the trees, where they feed primarily on fruit but also on leaves, bark, and birds eggs. They build simple sleeping nests, or platforms, on which they spend the night.

Full maturity is attained at 10 to 12 years of age, sexual maturity is reached at about 8 years. Gestation lasts about 9 months. Humans are the orangs only significant enemy, and unless hunting and destruction of their forest are curtailed, orangs will soon become extinct.

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