Orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus)
Acrylic on illustration board
The name Orang-utan literally means "forest person". These endangered primates, the largest of the tree-dwelling mammals, are extremely intelligent and also in dire need of protection, as more and more of their habitat is being lost to human development. They are found only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra in the islands of Indonesia, though it is thought that they once ranged throughout much of Southeast Asia. Because the Orang-utan lives primarily in forest ecosystems, the type of agriculture which involves clearing large tracts of land, and has been commonly practiced in recent decades, is detrimental.
Orang-utans spend most of their time in the trees, whether nesting, feeding on a diet of fruits, plants and insects, or socializing. When a female gives birth, it will be to a single young which it will spend the next 3 to 4 years raising before it can be weaned. Orang-utans move through the trees by walking or swinging with their long notable arms, which can reach down to their feet when standing. They are quite solitary by nature and tend to travel alone or in small groups.
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