Orangutan

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Pongo pygmaeus
Pongo abelii

Orangutans are the only exclusively Asian living genus of great ape. They are among the most intelligent primates and use a variety of sophisticated tools, also making sleeping nests each night from branches and foliage. They are generally not aggressive and live a mostly solitary life foraging for food. They are the largest living arboreal animals with longer arms than other great apes. Their hair is typically reddish-brown, instead of the brown or black hair typical of other great apes.

Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, orangutans are currently found only in rainforests on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, though fossils have been found in Java, the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Vietnam and China. There are only two surviving species, both of which are endangered: the Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) and the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii). The subfamily Ponginae also includes the extinct genera Gigantopithecus and Sivapithecus. The word "orangutan" comes from the Malay words "orang" (man) and "(h)utan" (forest); hence, "man of the forest".

Contents

Taxonomic classification

  • Genus Pongo[1]
    • Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)
      • Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus - northwest populations
      • Pongo pygmaeus morio - east populations
      • Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii - southwest populations
    • Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii)

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