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Tag archives for orangutans

Palm Oil: The Other Kind of Oil Spill

Palm oil monoculture is palming off orangutans in record numbers. Today, less than 70,000 orangutans exist in small wild pockets in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. Populations are patchy and both species of orangutan are considered endangered, with conversion of land for palm oil plantation believed to be the species’ biggest threat. Today, the…

Chimps, Orangutans Have Human-Like Memory

Primates can quickly recall something learned three years before, suggesting that memories are not uniquely human, a new study says.

Hanging in the Rainforest Not as Fun as It Used to Be? It Might Be a Midlife Crisis.

When people begin to worry about their mortality, they might fight the blues by buying a fancy sports car, having an affair, or even getting a toupee. But, what is a great ape to do?

One-Time Illegal Logger Fights to Save the Forests of Borneo

Pak Bastarian was once an illegal logger, cutting trees in the forests of West Kalimantan, Borneo. Today he is a conservationist, leading his village of former headhunters in the fight to prevent oil palm plantations from clearing forest in his village.

Hunting a key factor in orangutan’s decline, study suggests

Humans entering the forests of Borneo 150 years ago were six times more likely to encounter wild orangutans than they would today, a new study finds. The researchers suspect that heavy hunting over the years is to blame. The finding means our understanding of the lives and behaviors of the great ape is based on…

Female orangutans evolve subtle response to forced sex

Female orangutans are forced to copulate against their will more frequently than has been observed in any other mammal. Scientists have generally believed that this is because females spurn mating with inferior “unflanged” males. Rejected males have no chance to mate unless they use coercion–or so it was thought. But new studies, using the first…

Zoo Animals Get Their Greens for Saint Patrick’s Day

Mandara, a 26-year-old female western lowland gorilla and her two-month old daughter, enjoyed the St. Patrick Day festivities. Mandara is eating a lime and honeydew melon kabob that she found in her goodie bag. The public can vote to name the baby gorilla on the Zoo’s Web site. Smithsonian’s National Zoo photo by Mehgan Murphy The…

Orangutan Clyde Is Ambassador for Great Ape Awareness

Clyde, a 315-pound orangutan, studies the oregano he found in his habitat yesterday at the San Diego Zoo. Herbs were scattered around his exhibit as part of enrichment activities to celebrate Great Ape Awareness Days at the zoo. Enrichment is the term used by zoos to refer to the creation of a stimulating environment that…