The Importance Of The Orangutans

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The orangutan is scientifically known as the Pongo pygameus. It belongs to the family “Hominidae,” along with the other great apes. In the past, orangutans’ geographic distribution ranged from Southern China to Southeast Asia. Now, this species is only found in Southeast Asia on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.
Their habitats include multiple tropical rainforests. There is an abundance of trees in the habitats of orangutans since they are highly arboreal animals, spending more than half their time in trees. Orangutans exhibit suspensory locomotion through using their exceptionally long arms to swing from branch to branch while moving through the trees. Their hands and feet are long and narrow with opposable thumbs and big toes, assisting
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Every two minutes, a scan sample was performed on the behavior of the orangutan individuals. The time spent recording data was divided into four different periods of thirty minutes. This was done in order to avoid pseudoreplication, which signifies repeated observations of the same individual which could problematically skew statistics. As a result, two different individuals were observed for one hour each.
Observations also include instances of ad libitum, which were non-timed recorded information, such as outstanding actions or behaviors demonstrated by individuals during the conduction of scan sampling. The observations made included feeding, socializing, resting, and traveling. An example of outstanding behavior collected as ad libitum included strange actions during grooming. All of the behaviors were defined in an ethogram, which included all of the recorded observations of the individual and served beneficial to recording data in a uniform manner. This data and ethogram was analyzed through creating an activity budget of the percentage of time the individuals spent demonstrating each behavior, and later evaluating trends within the
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In the wild, orangutans have much more space to travel and more variety of food to eat. Due to the reduced variety of food provided in captivity, the percentage of time spent feeding or foraging is much lower than in the wild. For example, an observational study on wild orangutans done in Central Borneo by Biruté M. F. Galdikas resulted in the species spending almost sixty-one percent of their time foraging, specifically for fruit to fulfill their frugivorous diet (Galdikas 21). Also, the activity budget in the wild must display a much higher percentage of time spent traveling since there is expanded space for orangutans to roam. In the same study by Galdikas, the home ranges of the focal orangutans expanded across five to six kilometers (Galdikas 25). Orangutans in captivity do not have the opportunity to roam the huge spaces that they normally would in the wild. The orangutan’s typical suspensory locomotion must be more evident in the wild, since captivity does not possess the same types of branches to swing from. As observations in the orangutan study were made, Galdikas noted that “individuals spent from nineteen to one-hundred-twenty minutes on the ground per mean whole day,” showing the obvious majority of time spent living their arboreal lifestyle (Galdikas 28). In general, orangutans are able to live freely in a more open space, have more opportunities of sociality, and eat unique types of food in their diet in the

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