Orangutans also commonly referred to Red apes are of two types namely; Sumatran orangutan and Bornean orangutan. The word orangutan means a person of the forest, which is a Malay language. The orange-reddish brownish ape is said to be the largest tree living mammal in planet today.
Orangutans have unique abilities of traveling through the entire forest canopy since they make trees their home and source of food. That means this is the place the live and sleep unlike other apes that are considered semi-terrestrial since they spend part of their lives on the ground. Orangutans have very little time to come down from their trees and that has made them very unique from other apes. They quickly adapt well into their arboreal lifestyle.
In November 2017, a 3rd species of orangutans was discovered in Sumatra and these new apes are identified as Tapanuli Orangutans. They’re the most endangered species in the world today since they are estimated to be 800 in number. If nothing is done to protect them, these great apes might extinct within the next ten years and soon after followed by Sumatran and Bornean orangutans. A century ago, it is believed that there were more than 230,000 Orangutans, but now they’re less than 110,000 in total. With the their rainforest habitat disappearing at high rate due to deforestation and other human factors, Orangutans remain the most endangered species during our time.
Their Playful Nature
Orangutans have a great ability to think and reason. Their long arms can stretch out slightly longer than their bodies. They measure over 2 meters from their fingertip to fingertip. When on ground, they employ both their arms and legs to walk. Mature male orangutans have large cheek pads that female orangutans find very attractive. Orangutans are also known for their tremendous strength, which helps them to swing from a branch to branch and also hang upside-down for long periods while eating leaves or retrieving fruits. Male orangutans fight by charging at each other and breaking branches. If this doesn’t scare away any one of them, they bite each other.
Orangutans can emit different calls and vocalizations, which males use quite often to attract female or when discouraging other males. The male orangutans also use kiss-squeak call to alert others of any predators in their habitat. Unlike other great apes, Orangutans are very solitary. Adult males are said to live a solitary life with the exception of breeding time.
Raising Their Young Ones
Orangutans have the longest childhood dependence on their mothers than any other animal in the world. This is because there is a lot for young orangutans to learn for them to survive. The young orangutans nurse until they’re between 6 and 8 years of age. For young male orangutans they can stay close to their mother for a few years, while young females stay closely to their mother until they’re into their teens to allow them to learn some mothering skills. Orangutans gives birth once in every 8 years, which is the longest interbirth time for any mammal on the planet. This the reason why orangutan population is slow to recover whenever there is disturbance in their ecosystem.