Red Ape, Old Man of the Forest, Bornean Orang-utan
The Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) is the world’s largest mammal that lives in a tree and is also one of the world’s greatest apes. Together with the Sumatran orangutan and Tapanuli orangutan, it belongs to the only genus of great apes native to Asia. Like the other great apes, orangutans are highly intelligent, displaying tool use and distinct cultural patterns in the wild.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
A frugivore is an animal that thrives mostly on raw fruits or succulent fruit-like produce of plants such as roots, shoots, nuts, and seeds. Approx...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Zoochory animals are those that can disperse plant seeds in several ways. Seeds can be transported on the outside of vertebrate animals (mostly mam...
Island endemic animals are found in a single defined geographic location, such as an island. Animals or organisms that are indigenous to a place ar...
A territory is a sociographical area that which an animal consistently defends against the conspecific competition (or, occasionally, against anima...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Browsing is a type of herbivory in which an herbivore (or, more narrowly defined, a folivore) feeds on leaves, soft shoots, or fruits of high-growi...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
A dominance hierarchy (formerly and colloquially called a pecking order) is a type of social hierarchy that arises when members of animal social gr...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The Bornean orangutan has shaggy, long, dark red-brown hair. Its facial color ranges from red to pink to black. Their long arms are useful for reaching fruits and swinging from branch to branch. Their hands and feet are scoop-like and have a powerful grip for grasping branches. Adult males occur in two forms, which are flanged or unflanged. The flanged males are larger and on both sides of their face, they have fleshy ‘flanges’, or cheek pads.
Bornean orangutans are found on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. They generally live in hilly and swampy tropical rainforests.
Bornean orangutans rarely come down to the ground out of the trees where they live. They spend most of the daylight hours sitting in the canopy and eating, before building a nest to sleep in at night, by folding leafy branches. Small groups of females sometimes travel with their babies when seeking food, but adult males usually are solitary, though they may have occasional social connections. 6 or more in a group of Bornean orangutans is rare but this is found at times of mass fruiting, when groups of trees suddenly fruit all at the same time. Seasonal and daily movements change often and are influenced by how available the fruit is. Bornean orangutans use a number of different methods to move from one place to another. Brachiation (arm swinging) is seen only in young orangutans, older orangutans walking on all fours, or occasionally on two limbs.
Bornean orangutans are polygynous. A dominant flanged male has an established territory that encompasses the territories of a number of females. Females within a particular male’s territory mate with him to produce his offspring. These animals breed year-round. After a gestation of up to 9 months, a female bears a single infant, which will cling to its mother's fur, being completely dependent on her until about the age of 10. Despite infants being weaned at the age of about three, offspring continue to accompany their mother in order to learn about what food to eat, where to look for it, and for safety. Finally leaving her when at least 8 years of age to establish a territory of their own, young females tend to stay close to their mother, while males may roam the forest for quite some time before finally finding their own patch. Females give birth at around 14-15 years old.
The major threat to Bornean orangutans is habitat loss due to deforestation and wildfire. The other great threat is illegal hunting by local people who are often unaware that orangutans are protected by law. Several thousand orangutans are killed every year for meat consumption.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total Bornean orangutan population is between 45,000 and 69,000 individuals. This species, numbers are decreasing today and it is classified as endangered (EN).
Bornean orangutans have a vital role to play in seed dispersal, especially for larger seeds which smaller animals are not able to disperse. In fact, due to their essential role in seed dispersal, they are called "gardeners of the forest".