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Orang Utan

Name of a species of arboreal great apes, with the scientific designation Pongo borneo. Unlike all other great apes their hair is characteristically reddish to orange-brown (fig.). The name Orang Utan derives from the Indonesian-Malay words orang and hutan, meaning ‘man’ and ‘forest’ respectively, and can thus be translated as ‘man of the forest’. Orang Utans are native to Indonesia and Malaysia, though their fossils have also been found in other parts of Southeast Asia, including the Thai Peninsula, Vietnam and China. They are nowadays found only in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra, though the species in each location are genetically distinct, with the Bornean variety being slightly larger and Sumatran Orang Utans having a lighter colour of fur. Both species typically have long, strong arms and short, bowed legs, and adult males develop large cheek flaps (fig.), that grow bigger as they age and intends to show their dominance to younger males and their sexual maturity to females. In Thai, they are named ling urang utang.