The Bornean and Sumatran Orangutans

According to the wikipedia.org, the Bornean Orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus, is a species of orangutan native to the island of Borneo. Together with the slightly smaller Sumatran Orangutan, it belongs to the only genus of great apes native to Asia.

The Bornean Orangutan is more common than the Sumatran, with about 45,000 individuals existing in the wild; there are only about 7,500 of the Sumatran species left .The Bornean Orangutan has a life span of about 35 to 40 years in the wild; in captivity it can live to be 60.

The Bornean Orangutan lives in tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests in the Bornean lowlands as well as mountainous areas 1500 m in elevation. It lives at different heights in the trees and moves large distances to find trees bearing fruit. Its diet consists of fruit as well as shoots, bark, mineral rich soil and bird eggs. It also eats insects but to a lesser extent than the Sumatran Orangutan.

The Sumatran Orangutan, Pongo abelii, is the rarer of the two species of orangutans. Living and endemic to Sumatra island of Indonesia, they are smaller than the Bornean Orangutan.

Compared to the broadface Bornean Orangutan, the Sumatran Orangutans possess a lighter and longer pelage, a longer face, a smaller stature, and flanges that are covered in small white hairs

The Sumatran Orangutan is more social than its Bornean counterpart. Males and females generally come together only to mate. Groups of these orangutans gather to feed on the mass amount of fruiting on the fig trees. However adult males generally avoid contact with other adult males. Rape is common among orangutans. Sub-adult males will try to mate with any female, though they probably mostly fail to impregnate them since mature females are easily capable of fending them off. Mature females prefer to mate with mature males.

Newborn orangutans nurse every 3 to 4 hours, and begin to take soft food from their mothers’ lips by 4 months. The first year of its life the baby clings to its mother’s abdomen by entwining its fingers in and gripping her fur. Babies stay with their mothers until they are about 8 or 9 years old and have a long childhood compared to other apes.

Interval birth rates for Sumatran Orangutan were longer than the Bornean ones and are the longest reported interval birth rates among the great apes. Sumatran orangutans give birth when they are about 15 years old. Infant orangutans will stay close to their mother for up to three years. Even after that, the young will still associate with their mother.

Lets watch the youtube footage of the moment how the mother orangutan gives birth a baby.

6 responses to “The Bornean and Sumatran Orangutans

  1. Fascinating! The video of the birth is amazing and thanks for finding and sharing that.

  2. Pingback: fig trees

  3. Gaye
    Glad you like to view the video.

  4. I like the video also…it is really shown the magnificent creatures of mother’ love.

  5. i saw this orang utan at zoo negara! :D :D :D :D

  6. Nono
    Thanks to comment and I am sure you would like these beautiful creatures as it may come from your home state Borneo Sarawak.

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