zoo - Name: Orangutan Group: Many males, many females...

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Name : Orangutan Group: Many males, many females Common Name : Orangutan Scientific Name : Pongo Pygmaeus Family: Hominidae Genus : Pongo Species : Pygmaeus Distribution : Orangutans lived in mainland Asia between two to three million years ago, but they were probably hunted by prehistoric humans and experienced a change in their original environment so now they live in Borneo and Sumatra Islands. They live in alluvial forests, lowland swamps, and mountain foothills; Orangutans usually live within 10-15 km of water (swamp, river, stream). They eat fruits, so they might move around to find more fruits. In Borneo, Orangutans live under 500 meters elevation, but in Sumatra, they live up to 1500 meters in elevation. Locomotion: I witnessed the Orangutans knuckle-walking to move around on the ground. I also saw them swinging from the trees and ropes. Orangutans have such long arms compared to their bodies that I expect both knuckle walking and swinging are easy for them. Coloration: The Orangutans faces and skin is dark brown or black and hair was orange or brown. Type/Degree of Sexual Dimorphism: Males have big cheek pads that hang off the side of their face like flaps. Male Orangutans develop the cheek pads around age 15, kind of like puberty in humans: when males and females start developing distinguishing features. Males are larger and heavier than females. Like humans, males have more hair on their face. While I was at the zoo, it didn’t occur to me what the cheek pads were, but I did see them. # Individuals : There were 9 individuals in the enclosure: 3 Siamangs and 6 Orangutans How did they interact: The Orangutans seemed to be more individual compared to other primates at the zoo. They didn’t play with each other or socialize at all. Sometimes they sat next to each other, but the Orangutan I was observing did not interact at all with others; he seemed to be more interested in showing off to his human audience. He was playing peek-a-boo with us. I later learned that the Orangutan’s solidarity leads them to spend the most amount of years (compared to the rest of the great apes) with their mothers. Because Orangutans cannot depend on a group to continue learning later, they need to learn all survival techniques from their mothers before they are ready to leave. They need to learn what to eat, how to build a nest for the night, and how to get around the forest. Description of enclosure: The enclosure was flat ground in the front by the glass, and then further back from the glass it turned into a valley back behind the “trees.” The ground consisted of short grass, tanbark, and dirt. There were metal “trees” with ropes hanging from them that either looped to another branch or fell to the ground. Orange balls the size of basketballs hung from the trees by ropes. Rope nets were also hanging in the
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zoo - Name: Orangutan Group: Many males, many females...

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