Scientific Name: Pongo abelii
Colour: Red, Orange, Grey, Brown
Life Span: 30 - 40 years
Location: Northern Sumatra
Predator: Sumatran Tiger, Humans
Prey: Fruits, Shoots, Insects
Other Name(s): Red Ape, Forest Person
Size (H): 1.25m - 1.5m (4ft - 5ft)
Weight: 30kg - 82kg (66lbs - 180lbs)
Top Speed: 6kph (2.7mph)
Habitat: Dense, tropical forest
Fun Fact: Known to make mental maps of the forest!
Sumatran Orangutan Classification and Evolution
The Sumatran Orangutan is one of two Orangutan species in Asia, and they are natively found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra (the other species being the Bornean Orangutan that is endemic to Borneo). Also known as the Red Ape, Orangutans are the only species of great ape found outside of Africa and differ somewhat from their cousins overseas. Unlike other ape species that are highly sociable animals, the Sumatran Orangutan leads a very solitary lifestyle in comparison with males and females only really coming together to mate. Another distinctive difference between the Sumatran Orangutan and Africa's great apes is that Orangutans spend nearly all of their lives high in the trees where Gorillas and Chimpanzees spend the majority of their time foraging and resting in the dense vegetation on the ground. The Sumatran Orangutan is the most threatened of the two Orangutan species with hunting and habitat loss having decimated populations throughout much of their once vast natural range.
Sumatran Orangutan Anatomy and Appearance
The Sumatran Orangutan (along with the Bornean Orangutan) is the largest arboreal animal in the world and has therefore evolved a number of key adaptations for aiding it in it's almost exclusively tree-dwelling lifestyle. Sumatran Orangutans have arms that are much longer than their legs to help them to reach out to branches, and both their hands and feet are incredibly agile and dexterous and capable of holding a tight grip for some time.