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Saturday, 5 December 2009

The World's Most Intelligent Creature

Like other great apes, the orangutans are highly intelligent creatures. They are actually considered the world’s most intelligent animal other than humans, with higher learning and problem solving ability than chimpanzees. These amazing creatures are capable of using leaves to make rain hats and leak-proof roofs over their sleeping nests. In some food-rich areas, these creatures had developed a complex culture in which adults would teach adolescents how to make tools and find food. Orangutans, along with chimpanzees, gorillas and other apes, have even exposed laughter-like vocalizations in reply to physical contact, such as playing, chasing or tickling.

Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, they spend about 90 percent of their time in the trees of their tropical rainforest homes in Sumatra and Borneu. Their arms, which are well suited to their lifestyle, are longer than any other great ape. The arm-span of a male Orangutan may stretch around 7 feet (2.1meters) from fingertip to fingertip. They are about twice as long as their legs. Orangutans have curved fingers and toes which allows them to have a better grip on the branches. Unlike gorillas and chimpanzees, orangutans are not true knuckle-walkers, and are instead fist-walkers. Their hair is long and is typically reddish-brown.

Orangutans are more solitary than other apes and can be fiercely territorial. Although orangutans are generally passive, aggression towards other orangutans is very common. These creatures emit plenty of rumbling, howling calls as they move throughout the forests in order to make sure that they stay out of each other’s way. These howling/rumbling calls can be heard as far as 1.2 miles (2 km) away. Mothers and their infants, however, share a very special bond. Infants will stay with their mothers for about six to seven years until they develop the skills to survive on their own. Female orangutans give birth only once every eight years—the longest time period of any animal. The animals are long-lived and have survived as long as 60 years in captivity. The Orangutans diet consists mainly of fruit and leaves gathered from rain forest trees. They also eat bark, insects and on vary rare occasions, meat.

The Sumatran species is critically endangered and the Bornean species of orangutans is endangered according the IUCN Red List of mammals, and both are listed in Appendix I of CITES. Because orangutans live in only a few places, and because they are so dependent upon trees, they are particularly susceptible to logging, mining, forest fires as well as fragmentation by roads in these areas. Unfortunately, deforestation and other human activities, such as hunting and illegal pet trade have placed the orangutan in danger of extinction. Once again, all I have to say is that “Humans Keep on Messing up the Lovely Plant We Live In!”

Source: Wikipedia

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