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www.fotografik33.com

Ourang outan au jardin des plantes (Paris).

Les Orang-outans (Pongo) forment un genre de singes anthropoïdes de la famille des Hominidés. Ils sont répandus en Insulinde, plus précisément dans les îles de Bornéo et Sumatra. La taille moyenne des orang-outans est de 1,10 à 1,40 m pour 40 à 80 kg et peuvent vivre de 30 à 40 ans.

La gestation dure 245 jours. Les jeunes orang-outans voyagent accrochés au dos ou au ventre de leur mère pendant plus de deux ans. Les naissances sont espacées, avec un intervalle d'environ huit ans en moyenne.

Les orang-outans sont parmi les plus arboricoles des grands singes. Ils passent la majeure partie de leur temps dans les arbres, à la recherche de nourriture. L'animal se nourrit la plupart du temps de fruits, de jeunes pousses, d'écorce, de petits vertébrés, d'œufs d'oiseaux et d'insectes. Voilà pourquoi Anne Russon, qui étudie l'intelligence des grands singes à l'université York, s'est étonnée d'observer une nouvelle activité des orang-outans vivant autrefois en captivité et relachés à Bornéo : la pêche. Chaque nuit, ils fabriquent un nouveau nid perché entre 12 et 18 mètres au-dessus du sol.

 

The orangutans are the two exclusively Asian species of extant great apes. Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, orangutans are currently found only in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. Classified in the genus Pongo, orangutans were considered to be one species. However, since 1996, they have been divided into two species: the Bornean orangutan (P. pygmaeus) and the Sumatran orangutan (P. abelii). In addition, the Bornean species is divided into three subspecies. The orangutans are also the only surviving species of the subfamily Ponginae, which also included several other species like Gigantopithecus, the largest known primate. Both species had their genomes sequenced and they appear to have diverged around 400,000 years ago. Orangutans diverged from the rest of the great apes approximately 15.7 to 19.3 mya (million years ago).

Orangutans are the most arboreal great apes and spend most of their time in trees. Their hair is typically reddish-brown, instead of the brown or black hair typical of chimpanzees and gorillas. Males and females differ in size and appearance. Dominant adult males have distinctive cheek pads and produce long calls that attract females and intimidate rivals. Younger males do not have these characteristics and resemble adult females. Orangutans are the most solitary of the great apes, with social bonds occurring primarily between mothers and their dependent offspring, who stay together for the first two years. Fruit is the most important component of an orangutan's diet, however, the apes will also eat vegetation, bark, honey, insects and even bird eggs. They can live over 30 years in both the wild and captivity.

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Taken on March 29, 2008