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.

How orangutans mothers help their offspring learn

We have always known that orangutans infants are very dependent on their mothers in their early years. But it turns out that orangutan mothers also change their own behavior to help their children learn and become independent ...

Orangutan mothers help offspring to learn

When it comes to motherhood, orangutans are animals of distinction. An orangutan mother will stay in close contact with her baby for up to nine years—longer than almost all mammals other than humans. Much like humans, orangutans ...

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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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