Bornean orangutan

Pongo pygmaeus

SUBFAMILY

Ponginae

TAXONOMY

Pongo pygmaeus (Linnaeus, 1760), Borneo. Three subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Orang-outan; Spanish: Orang-utan.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Largest of the arboreal primates, demonstrating extreme sexual dimorphism. Females weigh 70-100 lb (31.8-45.4 kg), males may reach 200 lb (90.7 kg). Hair color ranges from reddish to brown. Adult females lack the prominent cheek pads and throat pouch that are obvious on mature males.

DISTRIBUTION

Borneo. Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus, northwest Kalimantan; Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii, southwest Kalimantan; Pongo pygmaeus morio, Sabah, south to Sungai Mahakam.

HABITAT

Lowland primary forest canopy and swampy areas. Mature fruit trees must be present.

BEHAVIOR

Dispersed social system. Males spend most of their time traveling alone, and are highly intolerant of each other. Long calls are used as a spacing mechanism. Females are found with their juvenile offspring.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Rely primarily on fruits, but also consume many types of vegetation. Meat-eating has been documented, but is exceedingly rare. Tools are used to extract imbedded foods.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Females have concealed ovulation, and demonstrate mate choice. Mating is promiscuous and may occur throughout the female's reproductive cycle. Copulations may be forced, most often by juvenile or non-resident males.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Endangered.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Currently hunted for meat, and for infants that are sold in the illegal pet trade. ♦

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