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Development of independence: Sumatran and Bornean orangutans compared


van Noordwijk, M A; Sauren, S E B; Nuzuar; Abulani, A; Morrogh-Bernard, H C; Utami Atmoko, S S; van Schaik, C P (2009). Development of independence: Sumatran and Bornean orangutans compared. In: Wich, S A; Utami Atmoko, S S; Mitra Setia, T; van Schaik, C P. Orangutans: geographic variation in behavioral ecology and conservation. New York, US: Oxford University Press, 189-203.

Abstract

Among known mammals, orangutans have the longest period of dependence and exclusive association between mother and offspring before a younger sibling is born. Comparison of available data on wild Sumatran and Bornean orangutans reveals a similar development of essential survival skills up to c. 5 years of age, but among Bornean orangutans earlier complete weaning and start of independent ranging through cessation of the association between mother and offspring, despite reported higher food availability in Sumatra. It is suggested that this difference is related to the assumed difference in main cause of mortality: starvation during irregular periods of widespread drought in Borneo vs predation in Sumatra. The benefits of association to both mother and offspring are likely to be different under these different selection pressures. To understand fully the differences between and variation among Bornean and Sumatran orangutans more high quality long-term demographic data on several populations are needed.

Abstract

Among known mammals, orangutans have the longest period of dependence and exclusive association between mother and offspring before a younger sibling is born. Comparison of available data on wild Sumatran and Bornean orangutans reveals a similar development of essential survival skills up to c. 5 years of age, but among Bornean orangutans earlier complete weaning and start of independent ranging through cessation of the association between mother and offspring, despite reported higher food availability in Sumatra. It is suggested that this difference is related to the assumed difference in main cause of mortality: starvation during irregular periods of widespread drought in Borneo vs predation in Sumatra. The benefits of association to both mother and offspring are likely to be different under these different selection pressures. To understand fully the differences between and variation among Bornean and Sumatran orangutans more high quality long-term demographic data on several populations are needed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Anthropology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:06 Feb 2010 17:51
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 00:14
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISBN:978-0-19-921327-6
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199213276.003.0012
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