Dean M. Chriss
Male Orangutan, Sabah, Malaysia

Male Orangutan, Sabah, Malaysia

(Click image to enlarge)

Orangutans stand only about 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall but their arm span can reach 7 feet (2 meters) from fingertip to fingertip. This long reach and extremely powerful muscles are ideally suited for life up un the trees, where they spend 90% of their time. Male orangutans are loners and in general all orangutans are more solitary than other apes. As they move through the forest they make plenty of noise and howling calls to ensure that they stay out of each other's way. Their "long call" can be heard 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) away.

Because orangutans are so dependent upon trees and live in only a few places, they are greatly impacted by logging in these areas. Deforestation and other human activities, such as hunting and oil palm plantations, have placed the orangutan in danger of extinction within the next decade.