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The Orangutan. By Rhiannon Van Vliet. Basic Information:. Oran tans are the largest tree-living mammals in the world. There are two types, the Bornean O rang-utan and the S umatran orang-utan.

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The Orangutan.

By Rhiannon Van Vliet


Basic Information:

Oran tans are the largest tree-living mammals in the world. There are two types, the Bornean Orang-utan and the Sumatran orang-utan.

The Bornean Orang-utan has a darker colour than the Sumatran, the Sumatran orang-utan has a narrower face and a longer beard.

Class- Mammalia

Order- Primatea

Family- Hominidae

Species Name- Pongo abelli

Status- Critically endangered



Orang-utans inhabit tropical rain forests. The temperature in the rainforest is around 23 degrees and the length of daylight is around 12 hours. He rain fall varies, this impacts the growth of vegetation in the tropical rain forests.

Orang-utans are not territorial. Males, however are intolerant of each other and they remain separated as much as possible when travelling in the same area.



Nearly 90% of the orang-utans diet consists of fruit. They eat around 400 different plant varieties. Their favourite fruit is called durians, which are covered in sharp spines and they have a pungent smell.

Although fruit plays a very important role in the orang-utans diet, hey also need other nutrients as a part of their daily intake. They get a mixture of sugars and fats from fruit, protein from nuts and carbohydrates from leaves.

Orang-utans spend up to 6 hours eating or looking for food.

Orang-utans play a vital role as seed dispersers in their rainforest environment, many fruit seedlings that are eaten by the orang-utan are not sprouted when they are consumed, they might sprout after passing through the orang-utans digestive system.



Apart from human activity, young orang-utans are preyed on by bearded pigs, pythons, leopards, black eagles and crocodiles.


Human impact:

One of the main negative impacts that humans have on the orang-utans is habitat loss and fragmentation. One of the greatest threat facing orang-utans is the international trade in products containing orang-utan parts.

Habitat Loss:

This occurs when land is cleared for things that include agricultural, urbanization and land conversation to domestic grazing.

Pal oil plantation is a major factor facing orang-utans. Palm oil is a type of vegetable oil that can be found in breads, crackers, chips, margarine, cereals, cosmetics and soaps.





What can we do?

We can support campaigns such as Don’t palm us off and the RSPO. We can take notice in what products are in the food we by and not buying things with palm oil, by doing this no more palm oil plantations can go ahead. This makes sure that no habitats are destroyed and animals have not only a place to live, but food to eat.

We can also save exotic endangered wildlife by becoming environmentally invested in our own backyards. Learning about local wildlife, and ways to help or save them is the firs step to saving larger animals like the orang-utan.