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In the Malay language, the word Orangutan means "man of the forest" Of all the great apes, the Orangutan spends the most time in the trees. Its long arms, with reddish and brownish hair, allow the Orangutan to climb and swing among the trees. Orangutans are stocky and short-legged. There is great sexual dimorphism between males and females: males have very prominent cheeks, unlike the females.
Their natural habitats are lowland rainforests. Their current population is estimated at around 15,000 individuals. Orangutans used to be found throughout Indonesia and Malaysia, but today they only survive in northwestern Sumatra and in pockets on the island of Borneo.
Mothers give birth to a single infant at each birth, in cycles of four to eight years. The gestation period is approximately eight and a half months. The mother carries the infant, which does not stop suckling until it is three years old. The female Orangutan reaches sexual maturity at 12 years of age, while the male is not considered an adult until 15.
Solitary and intelligent, they have developed their own extraordinary culture that they transmit from generation to generation. They are capable of making their own tools. Socially they are very independent, although females sometimes gather in groups of four or five individuals.
They feed mainly on fruit, although they complement their diet with shoots and leaves.
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