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Description of Pongo

The genus Pongo includes the orangutans - currently the only exclusively Asian genus of great apes. Their fur is typically reddish-brown, instead of the brown or black hair typical of other great apes .They are the largest living arboreal animals and have proportionally longer arms (span up to 7 feet) than other great apes. They are intelligent and use a variety of tools, also making sleeping nests each night from branches and foliage. Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, orangutans are currently found only in rainforests on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. There are two surviving species, both endangered: the Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) and the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii). Their status is influenced by habitat destruction due to logging, mining and forest fires, fragmentation by roads, and conversion of tropical forest to oil palm plantations. Height averages from 4 to 5 ft (1.2 to 1.5 m), weight between 73 to 250 lb (110 kg) or more. Hands and feet have an opposable digit apiece. Adult males have large cheek flaps (which get larger as the ape ages) ] that show their dominance to other males and their readiness to mate. The age of maturity for females is approximately 12 years. Orangutans may live 35 years or so in the wild, and up to 60 years in captivity. Orangutans are the most arboreal of the great apes, spending nearly all of their time in the trees. Most of the day is spent feeding, resting, and moving between feeding and resting sites. Tigers are the major predatory threat to orangutans in Sumatra, but may also be preyed on by clouded leopards and crocodiles.   

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