WHAT’S IN A NAME?

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Orangutans -

‘Orang­utan’ comes from the Malay ‘orang’ (per­son) and ‘hutan’ (from the for­est). The Iban con­sider the orang­utans of Batang Ai to com­prise three forms – but, zo­o­log­i­cally speak­ing, the re­al­ity is less com­plex. Orang­utans once ranged across a vast part of Asia, from south­ern China to In­dochina, Malaysia, Java, Su­ma­tra and Bor­neo. To­day, the Su­ma­tran orang­utan, Pongo abelii, is found only in scat­tered parts of the north of that is­land, while the Bornean orang­utan, P. pyg­maeus, sur­vives as three sub­species. Sarawak and West Kal­i­man­tan are home to P. p. pyg­maeus, with P. p. morio in Sabah and East Kal­i­man­tan. South­ern Bor­neo is the last re­main­ing bas­tion of P. p. wurm­bii.

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