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Bornean Orangutan

             Pongo pygmaeus, or the Bornean Orangutan is the only Great Ape that lives in Asia. Once found throughout Southeast Asia, they are confined to small populations on the island of Borneo (the Pongo pigmeaus pigmeaus) and have cousins that live in parts of Sumatra (the Pongo pigmeaus abelii). They have long, coarse hair that varies from orange to brown. Males have large cheek pads and a laryngeal sac used for sound reverberation, distinctly different from those from Sumatra, where the pads and sacs are much smaller. Females can weigh anywhere from seventy-two to one hundred pounds and males weigh from one hundred and seventy-five to two hundred pounds. They usually reside in lowland tropical forests and tropical swamp forests and have a rather varied diet, from small mammals (such as squirrels) and small birds to shoots and fruit. An orangutan has specially shaped hands and feet to grab branches and progress by fist walking rather than knuckle walking which is a technique used by other primates. Orangutans have a life span of approximately 60 years, the longest of any ape(Rowe 220-223).
             Wild orangutans spend almost their entire life in trees, and build nests every night to sleep in (Russon 126). They live in solitude, with a male territory encompassing that of many females. Their specific behavior only makes the orangutan a more unique mammal. An orangutan's intelligence is second only to that of chimpanzees in the primates, they can learn up to 150 sign language signs (Lindsay 108). Orangutans make eighteen distinguishable vocalizations, including the long "I'm over here- call and the kiss-squeak of annoyance (Rowe 222).
             Bornean orangutans are in a terrible situation. Because their habitat is disappearing at such a rapid pace, the orangutans are dangerously close to extinction. The effects of massive logging and fires raging throughout Southeast Asia have left their environment in ruins.

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