Sumatran orangutan

Pongo abelii

SUBFAMILY

Ponginae

TAXONOMY

Pongo abelii (Lesson, 1827). Monotypic.

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Largest of the arboreal primates, demonstrating extreme sexual dimorphism. Reported to be slightly smaller than Bornean orangutans. Adult females lack the prominent cheek pads and throat pouch that are obvious on mature males.

DISTRIBUTION

Sumatra.

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

Critically Endangered.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

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

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