Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Orangutans at Tanjung Harapan, Part 2

As you can tell from the fact that I needed to break our first afternoon orangutan viewing session into 2 separate blog posts (and from the photo below), we were entranced (and maybe a little mosquito bitten):


After we'd spent hours watching and photographing them, our guide practically had to drag us away for dinner.  So much to see!  


So many orangutans to anthropomorphize, including this one, who was clearly thinking "Oooooh, cassava!  Don't mind if I do!":



I love how this one's hair looks crimped:


This mom and baby who stopped in for a bit were pretty freaking adorable:



It was all we could do to not try to grab it and stuff it in our bags:


Especially when, while trying to get something to eat from his mom, this happened... wha??!!  As Eileen would say, "Stop!":


This big fella was also quite amusing.  He maintained this yoga-esque position for about 15 minutes while snacking... what is that move?  Modified tree pose?  I guess it's appropriate for the setting:


He's the first guy we saw with fairly big facial flanges (the big cheek flap things).  Our guide told us and the internets confirmed that the cheek flanges develop as the males orangutans age, and grow larger (via release of hormones?) each time the orangutan wins a fight such that the most senior/dominant male in the group has the largest cheek flaps... they also have these enormous "pendulous neck flap" thingies that help them with their "long call," which attracts the ladies...


Uggg... orangutan babies... just stop.  Too cute.

Baby orangutans are completely dependent on their mothers for the first two years of their life and then continue to be carried by their moms until they are 5, although they do a lot of exploring on their own at that point, as we observed later in the trip.  They breast feed until they're 8, which sounds like a lot of work for those moms!


Dudes, this was only the first afternoon of three days of orangutans and other jungle dwellers.  I hope you're ready for even more.

4 comments:

  1. This is so incredible. We just went to the San Diego zoo, which is nothing alike, but seeing the Orangutans there act like humans was mesmerizing. I can't wait to see them in their actual habitat (or what is left of it)!

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  2. These posts are blowing my mind Meg. "Stop!" It's too much. Also blowing my mind is that fact that JuJu's nature narrative appears to be correct about 85% of the time -- who knew?

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    1. I know, I think he was fairly accurate, although not exactly forthcoming or confidence inspiring with his tales of mishap and woe.

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