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Orangutans, Pongo sp., are one of the four genera of the great apes (Pongo, Gorilla, Pan, and Homo). Orangutans are often differentiated from the other apes for their bright red fur. However, there are many factors which separate them from the other Great Apes. They are the only Asian great ape, residing in Indonesia and Malaysia, on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Orangutans are semi-solitary, arboreal brachiators, meaning that they live primarily alone and travel via swinging through trees (Thorpe and Crompton 2006). This allows them to cover a vast area in search for food. Adult orangutans require a large amount of fruit each day to survive and to reproduce efficiently (Thorpe and Crompton 2006). By living alone, orangutans are able to reduce food competition. Their requirement for a large habitat and resources has made orangutans highly susceptible to environmental threats. Similar to the other great apes, all species of orangutans range from endangered to critically endangered with approximately 112,000 total orangutans left in the wild (WWF 2017).



Thesis Comittee

Dr. Ellen J. Ingmanson, Thesis Advisor

Prof. Caitlin Fisher-Reid, Committee Member

Prof. Joshua Irizarry, Committee Member

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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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