The orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus, is an ape that is found in the moist, coastal rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo which consists of Indonesia's Kalimantan provinces, Malaysia's Sabath and Sarawak, and the kingdom of Brunei Darussalam. Orangutans live in tropical rainforests and are arboreal primates meaning that they are tree dwelling. Orangutans construct nests in the tree branches for the night in which they will curl up and sleep. These nests are made out of leaves and branches and they will sometimes use a leaf as a roof to protect themselves from the rain.
Orangutans are omnivores, which means they eat a variety of meat and plants. They primarily eat fruit, leaves and small animals. However, 70% of a wild orangutan diet is fruit (Napier, 1988). The durian fruit is a juicy but smelly, cantaloupe-like substance that is among one of the orangutan's favorites. They also eat flowers, bark, nuts and small insects such as termites and butterfly larva (DeBoer, 1982).
Adult orangutans are primarily solitary, except for mother-offspring pairs. However, weaned juveniles will sometimes flock in small groups. Orangutans are active during the day, or as (DeBoer, 1982) said diurnal. They live alone in large territories. This is probably due to their eating habits; they need a large area in order to get enough food and too many orangutans in one area might lead to starvation.
The only long-lasting orangutan social group is the mother and offspring, who live together for about 7 years. When mating, the male and female orangutans stay together for only a few days. Males are aggressive toward each other and often fight over females. They also will stake out areas in which they claim as th...
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The only orangutan that ate something other than straw or hay was Kiko who was eating a banana before his afternoon nap. There were two smashed pumpkins on the ground, but it didn't appear that they had been eating. Bonnie picked at one, but did not take a bite of the pumpkin. Bonnie continued to eat straw for the entire observation. Neither Iris nor Junior ate anything throughout the duration.
This observation was not only educational, but gave me a chance to study the orangutans in a more objective point of view after researching the Pong pygmaeus. The orangutans were the most active out of all the apes located at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. I thoroughly enjoyed examining the behavior and trends of these practical animals. In comparison to my research, their actions were very similar given their limited amount of space and unnatural habitat.
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