Author: Revathe Thillaikumar

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! šŸŽ† Our team says goodbye to a great year full of adventures in the jungle and orangutan research. We hope that 2024 will be as exciting! We want to thank all of you for supporting us one more year!

Curious orangutans

Although extremely curious in captivity, the Sumatran orangutans at Suaq are quite reluctant when encountering new objects in the forest. In our latest paper you can read how we overcame the difficulties of studying their cognitive abilities in the wild. Ā We found out that age, conspecific presence and ecological factors like food availability impacted individualsā€™… Read more »

Varying coloration (30.8.23)

Orangutansā€™ color ranges from a bright orange to chocolate, differing significantly from other apes such as chimpanzees and gorillas. Orangutans tend to darken as they age, and female are often lighter than males. Moreover, Bornean orangutans are generally lighter than their cousins from Sumatra. While it is still unclear why orangutans exhibit such unique shades,… Read more »

International orangutan day!

ItsĀ #InternationalOrangutanDayĀ ! šŸ¦§ Today we celebrate theĀ #CriticallyEndangeredĀ Orangutan to raise awareness and increase conservation action! Our rainforests are disappearing at an alarming rate, primarily due to the expansion of palm-oil plantations and illegal logging. šŸŒ³šŸšœ Fragmentation of their rainforest home means its more difficult for these orangutans to find food, mating partners and new home ranges. Our… Read more »

New paper out on social learning!

Our new paper is out! šŸ„³ We found evidence that migrant orangutan males in Suaq Balimbing, Sumatra, and in Tuanan, Borneo, use observational social learning (also called ā€œpeeringā€ behavior) to learn new ecological knowledge from local individuals after dispersing to a new area. We thank all collaborators that made this study possible, which we published… Read more »

Nest building (10.7.23)

Just five more minutes … šŸ˜“ – to sleep comfortably orangutans build big multilayered nests by bending and intertwining branches and leaves. Smaller branches form a mattress, larger, leafy branches can be used as blankets and piles of leafy twigs make the perfect pillow. Despite this intricate process, orangutans build new nests every night. Young… Read more »

Persistence is key (4.7.23)

There’s a huge range of tasty treats for Orangutans in the Rainforest and once they find something they like they are persistent and slow to give up. Gura managed to find some Honey locked away in this tree trunk but with his strong jaws he’s able to crack into the nest and claim his reward,… Read more »

Protect species, protect environment

All three orangutan species are critically endangered. Currently, an estimated 100,000 Bornean, 14,000 Sumatran, and less than 800 Tapanuli orangutans remain roaming in the forests of Indonesia and Malaysia. Orangutans are crucial for the rainforests health as they act as ‘gardeners’ of the forestšŸŒ±. They forage on more than 400 species of plants and help… Read more »

Gentle giants (13.6.23)

In his famous ā€œThe Murders in the Rue Morgueā€ short story, Edgar Allan Poe described (spoiler alert ) an orangutan brutally murdering 2 women. However, this depiction could not be further from the truth, as these ā€œgentle giantsā€ are generally shy and peaceful, and prefer to avoid human contact. The rare instances of aggressive behaviors… Read more »

Self-medication in orangutans (31.5.23)

Orangutans can get injured when they fight with other individuals. This is Rakus who just became a flanged male. He got injured maybe when he met and fought with another flanged male. Do you apply Povidone Iodine on the wound when you get injured? Just like humans, Rakus also treated his wound using medicinal herbs…. Read more »