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Orangutan

Pongo pygmaeus

Description:

The orangutan, with its reddish-brown, shaggy hair, has a strong, heavily built body, and is the second-largest primate. The arms are long and powerful and reach to the ankles when the animal stands erect; there is a small thumb on each broad hand that is opposable to the first digit. The orangutan's legs are relatively short and weaker than the arms. Males are much larger and heavier than females and are also identified by the cheek flaps that surround the face of the mature adult. All adults have fatty throat pouches. Orangutans live alone, in pairs or in small family groups and are active in the daytime at all levels of the trees. They walk along large branches on all fours or erect and sometimes swing by their hands from branch to branch. On the ground, they walk on all fours or stand erect. Fruit is their staple diet, but they also feed on leaves, seeds, young birds and eggs. The orangutan sleeps in the trees in a platform nest made of sticks; it may make a new nest every night. After a gestation period of more than 9 months, the female gives birth to a single young. She cares for her offspring for some time -- one captive young was suckled for 6 years -- and it clings to her fur as she moves around in the trees.

Habitat:

rainforest

Notes:

Diet: Fruit, also leaves, seeds, young birds, and eggs.

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Dublin 2, Dublin, Ireland

Spotted on Aug 11, 2010
Submitted on May 13, 2011

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