Breaking News - A New Species Of Orangutan Has Been Discovered!

Breaking News - A New Species Of Orangutan Has Been Discovered!

Posted by Connor Whelan on Nov 3, 2017

A new species of orangutan has been identified in Sumatra!

The frizzy haired orangutan has been discovered in the remote forests of Indonesia, and it is the first newly discovered great ape in almost 90 years!

With a population of just 800, this new species immediately takes the unfortunate title of the world’s most endangered great ape, and with continuing pressures on their habitat the species is extremely vulnerable.

Previously science recognised seven species of great ape: Sumatran and Bornean orangutans; eastern and western gorillas; chimpanzees; bonobos and humans, but with the addition of this new species the number now rises to eight.

Scientists found that this population of orangutans evolutionary split from other orangutans occurred about 3.4 million years ago, and since then they have developed slight differences to their Bornean and Sumatran cousins.

Physical differences between the species include frizzier hair and a smaller head, and they also differ in diet and habitat.

Researchers actually happened upon the population of apes back in 1997, but they did not consider them a separate species until they had the chance to examine a skeleton in 2013.

“If steps are not taken quickly to reduce current and future threats to conserve every last remaining bit of forest, we may see the discovery and extinction of a great ape species within our lifetime," the scientists said.

With Orangutan Awareness Week taking place this month, now is the time to spread the word about his newly discovered orangutan and ensure that they do not disappear…


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