Species of the month
Some facts on this ape:
Head and body length: 0.75 to 1.5 meters.
Weight: Males, 50-90 kg. females 30-50 kg.
Range: Northern Sumatra.
Habitat: Primary lowland tropical rainforest.
Lifespan: Can reach more than 50 years.
Diet: Mainly fruits (figs, jackfruits etc.) and insects.
Surviving number: About 7,300.
Conservation status: Critically Endangered (IUCN 3.1).
First described: By the French surgeon, naturalist, ornithologist, and herpetologist René-Primevère Lesson in 1827.
Pongo abelii is "the person of the forest". That's the meaning of the word "orangutan" in Malay. This ape has been observed using tools, once thought to be the exclusive domain of humans. It uses sticks to probe for termites or to extract seeds from fruits. This knowledge is passed to the next generation as the young watch and learn from the grown-ups. This primate is a very slow breeder, giving birth only once every eight or nine years. As a result of this and of the shrinking and fragmentation of its range, it is in serious danger of disappearing from the forest forever. The genus Pongo consists of two species, the other one being Pongo pygmaeus or "Bornean Orangutan".
(Archived from Template:Species of the week)