Orangutan communication sheds light on human speech origins

New research from The University of Warwick has revealed that orangutans, the most arboreal of the great apes, produce consonant-like calls more often and of greater variety than their African ground-dwelling cousins (gorillas, ...

Orangutans: Could 'half-Earth' conservation save the red ape?

Half-Earth is a proposal by the late naturalist and "father of biodiversity", EO Wilson. In its original context, it proposes that half of the Earth's surface should be designated a human-free nature reserve to preserve biodiversity.

Restoring the orangutan in Whole-Earth or Half-Earth contexts

A new study by 33 orangutan experts from around the globe assessed what would happen to Bornean orangutans in the next decade under different management assumptions. The good news is that the researchers predict that if orangutan ...

Studying primates to learn about the evolution of speech

Speech and language skills are unique to modern humans. While this ability evolved over millions of years, it is not possible to trace language in the fossil record because it leaves no direct imprint. Instead, re-examining ...

How orangutan mothers communicate with their offspring

Together with a Swiss-German team, behavioral scientist Dr. Marlen Fröhlich from the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoenvironment at the University of Tübingen has studied mother-offspring interactions in ...

'Baby boot camp' exercises critically endangered orangutan

The 2-month-old critically endangered orangutan, still so tiny that infant-sized diapers hung loosely in front of his belly, clung tightly to a caretaker's fingers as she lifted him gently from her lap.

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Orangutan

Pongo pygmaeus Pongo abelii

The orangutans are two species of great apes. Known for their intelligence, they live in trees and are the largest living arboreal animal. They have longer arms than other great apes, and their hair is typically reddish-brown, instead of the brown or black hair typical of other great apes. Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, they are currently found only in rainforests on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, though fossils have been found in Java, the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Vietnam and China. There are only two surviving species in the genus Pongo and the subfamily Ponginae, which includes the extinct genera Gigantopithecus and Sivapithecus.

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