Orangutan, By William Burrard-Lucas, London, England, UK


Pongo pygmaeus

Learn more about Pongo pygmaeus from the Encyclopedia of Life

Encyclopedia of Life

Tanjung Puting National Park,
By William Burrard-Lucas
London, England, UK

The orangutan is the largest Asian primate and also the largest tree-dwelling mammal. Adult males weigh between 110 and 200 pounds and measure about 5 feet in height. They have longer arms than other apes, with a spread of about 7 feet. The name of the species derives from the Malay words orang (man) and (h)utan (forest): “man of the forest.” These arboreal animals spend almost all their time in the trees, swinging between branches, and sleeping each night in nests built from bent branches.

“Like other great apes, orangutans are highly intelligent and their youngsters are very playful. This image was taken deep in the rainforest of southern Borneo. As the young orangutan played by the water's edge, I was amazed when he started sucking up water and squirting it out like a mischievous child!” —WB-L

Canon EOS-1D Mark III; 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 L IS USM lens at 120mm; 1/200 sec at ƒ/3.5; ISO 400; hand-held.