||Diet: Fruit, also
leaves, seeds, young birds, and eggs.
- 1.5 m (4 - 5 ft), tail: absent
orangutan, with its reddish-brown, shaggy hair, has a strong, heavily built
body, and is the second-largest primate. The arms are long and powerful
and reach to the ankles when the animal stands erect; there is a small
thumb on each broad hand that is opposable to the first digit. The orangutan's
legs are relatively short and weaker than the arms. Males are much larger
and heavier than females and are also identified by the cheek flaps that
surround the face of the mature adult. All adults have fatty throat pouches.
Orangutans live alone, in pairs or in small family groups and are active
in the daytime at all levels of the trees. They walk along large branches
on all fours or erect and sometimes swing by their hands from branch to
branch. On the ground, they walk on all fours or stand erect. Fruit is
their staple diet, but they also feed on leaves, seeds, young birds and
eggs. The orangutan sleeps in the trees in a platform nest made of
sticks; it may make a new nest every night. After a gestation period of
more than 9 months, the female gives birth to a single young. She cares
for her offspring for some time -- one captive young was suckled for 6
years -- and it clings to her fur as she moves around in the trees.